This article explains how to make the computer, home, thrash and network icons to be visible on the Ubuntu desktop.
press alt + f2 (this command will prompt you with the run dialog box)
type gconf-editor on the text box (in the run dialog box) and press run. You will be prompted with the configuration editor of gnome.
go to apps > nautilus > desktop
put the ticks on
computer_icon_visible, home_icon_visible, network_icon_visible, thrash_icon_visible.