An installation of Bodhi Linux (and Enlightenment itself, for that matter) does not have desktop icons enabled by default. But, don't worry! It's quick and easy to set up.
The first thing you'll need is to ensure that the EFM Module is loaded. Go to Main Menu → Settings → Modules and then to the Files tab. If there is not an indicator next to EFM highlight that line, then click Load Module.
Now that you have a home for you desktop icons, you can simply put any files you want to appear on the desktop into the ~/Desktop directory. This can be achieved by using a GUI file manager like PCManFM. Just click-and-drag the file you want on your desktop the the ~Desktop directory.
This method will have the unfortunate (depending on your point of view) side effect of having 2 copies of the same file in 2 places on your system. If you would prefer a link (“shortcut” in Windows-speak) user this command:
ln -s ~/Documents/school/science/research_paper.odt ~/Desktop/research_paper.odt
For details, see:
To have an application launcher on your desktop is a simple matter of putting a copy of the corresponding .desktop file in the ~/Desktop directory. A GUI file manager can be used: Navigate to /usr/share/applications and right-click on the name of the application you would like on your desktop (eg: midori.desktop), then select Copy. Navigate to ~/Desktop, right-click in the right-pane window, and select Paste.
Or you can just enter the command:
cp /usr/share/applications/midori.desktop ~/Desktop