Sign up ×
Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. It's 100% free.

How do you create a custom application launcher in Gnome Shell?

I have a local Eclipse installation that I'd like to be to quickly launch. So I created a symlink to the eclipse binary and placed it on my desktop. If I open a terminal, cd to ~/Desktop and run ./eclipse it starts Eclipse perfectly. However, if I click the Eclipse icon on my desktop, and choose run, nothing happens.

Alternatively, I wouldn't mind being able to search for Eclipse on the "Activities" screen, but I can't find any documentation on adding or registering custom applications.

share|improve this question

2 Answers 2

up vote 57 down vote accepted

Try to create a eclipse.desktop file under /usr/share/applications (or ~/.local/share/applications or directly in ~/Desktop) with the following content:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Eclipse IDE

You can choose another category, too. For additional information:

share|improve this answer
Thanks. The only problem I ran into, which the docs don't mention, is that the file has to be executable if you place it in ~/Desktop. Otherwise it just shows up as an ordinary text file and isn't launchable or rendered with the right icon. –  Cerin Mar 12 '12 at 17:35

If you want a list of custom launchers you can access from the panel you could use the MyLauncher extension. MyLauncher Gnome Shell Extension

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.