I'v never seen this before, but when I try to launch a database application from a desktop link (in Mint) it will not load the data and freezes. When I launch the same executable file from the project folder it runs perfectly.
Check what your working directory is. If the working directory is the desktop itself, it may not be able to locate files that it expects to be in particular relative locations.
Quick way to check what your working directory is within a C++ program is to call system("pwd");. Remove the call once you're finished troubleshooting.