Ubuntu – create manual application launcher (Unity)

With every new release of Ubuntu I am becoming more resigned to the fact that the effort to revert back to the Ubuntu Classic (Gnome 2) interface is getting harder and sooner or later I will have to bite the bullet and learn to live with the ugly and more cumbersome Unity interface (specially since Gnome 3 seems to be even worse). One of the first issues I found is that there seems to be no easy way to manually add programs to the “Launcher” (as well as to the applications list).

After some digging everything seems to be still via .desktop files in /usr/share/applications/

1) Create the desktop file

vim /usr/share/applications/eclipse.desktop

2) Copy the following into the file (Note: adjust application name and path)

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Programming IDE
Exec=env UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0 /path/to/application/eclipse

3) Update the desktop database


UPDATE: According to this article: http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2011/11/ubuntu-desktop-designers-clarify-on-configurability/ the Ubuntu developers have confirmed some more reconfigurability in future releases.

Author: Leo Gaggl

ict business owner specialising in mobile learning systems. interests: sustainability, internet of things, ict for development, open innovation, agriculture

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