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Is it possible to launch an application without icon in the launcher?

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Search for it in Unity Dash? Create a desktop shortcut? Use other launcher software like synapse, gnome-do, cairo-dock, docky, etc? There are so many ways to start an application. –  jokerdino Jun 9 '12 at 8:37
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I think he means to start it in a way that will not show an icon. –  Mateo_ Aug 14 '12 at 1:24
    
It would be nice if the OP could clarify the question so we know whether he means "How do I launch an application that doesn't have an icon in the launcher" or "How do I prevent an icon from appearing in the launcher for a particular application" as per the comments above. Without knowing this the answers below are only guesses. –  Caltor Oct 16 '12 at 13:41

2 Answers 2

Top prevent the application's icon to show up in Unity we may add the following line in the application's .desktop file (found e.g. in /usr/share/applications):

OnlyShowIn=GNOME;XFCE;KDE

By this the application will only be shown in GNOME, XFCE, or KDE but not in Unity.

Save the modified .desktop file with another name (e.g. app-noshow.desktop) in ~/.local/share/applications to hide the launcher icon when run from there.

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Of course it is possible. A launcher in the Unity sidebar on the left is just an easy-to-use shortcut for launching your application. But, you can also launch an application through Alt+F2 (or through terminal). In order to do this, you will have to do Alt+F2, type in the program's name and hit enter: Alt+F2 If you want to run it from terminal, you can hit Ctrl+Alt+T, type in the command/program you want to execute and hit enter.

If you want, for ease of use, you can create your own desktop launcher for your application and add it to the unity sidebar. You can do this, once you've found which is the correct command so as to execute your program. After you are sure about this, according to this you could create your own desktop file. Just edit the Exec (command to execute), Icon (icon to display), Comment, Name (name that will be displayed) etc fields from this example file:

[Desktop Entry]
Version=2.1
Name=Wallch
Comment=Change desktop wallpapers automatically
Exec=wallch
Icon=wallch
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Categories=Utility;Application;

and save it as anything.desktop Then, move your desktop file to ~/.local/share/applications and search it through the Unity Dash, according to the name you've given to it inside the 'Name' field. Launch the application and lock it to the launcher.

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