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Perhaps I missed something when Canonical removed the "Create launcher" option from the right click menu, because I've really been missing that little guy. For me, it was the preferred way to install software that comes not in a .deb, but in a tar.gz, for example. (Note: in that tar.gz I have a folder with the compiled files, I'm NOT compiling from source)

I just downloaded the new Eclipse IDE and extracted the tar.gz to my /usr folder. Now, I'd like to add it to my desktop and dash so it can be started easily. Intuitively I would right click the desktop and create a launcher. After this I'd copy the .desktop to /usr/share/applications. However, creating a launcher is not possible.

My question: How would you install an already compiled tar.gz that you have downloaded from the internet?

Below are a few things I've seen, but these are all more time-consuming than the right click option. If you have any better ideas, please let me know. Thanks!

Manual copy & create a .desktop file: manually

Simply extract the archive to /usr. Create a new text file, adding something along the lines of the code block below:

[Desktop Entry]
Name="Eclipse 4.2"

Rename this file to eclipse42.desktop and make it executable. Then copy this to /usr/share/applications.

Manually copy & create a .desktop file: GUI

fossfreedom has elaborated on this in How can I create launchers on my desktop? Basically it involves the command:

gnome-desktop-item-edit --create-new ~/Desktop

After creating the launcher, copy it to /usr/share/applications.

share|improve this question
Is this the kind of question you answer yourself? – mikewhatever Jun 30 '12 at 2:15
@mikewhatever No, see the text after my question: "Below are a few things I've seen, but these are all more time-consuming than the right click option. If you have any better ideas, please let me know." Only trying to point out that I've tried a few things already, but have not come to a satisfactory solution. – Tomas Jun 30 '12 at 2:25
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Arronax is a plugin for Nautilus that gives you the "Create launcher" option from the right click menu back.

share|improve this answer
@ Florian: Thanks for this :) Sounds promising. Installing as we speak. edit: I see you added some extra functionalities as well, very nice. Perhaps you should consider adding an option to copy (or link) the .desktop to the dash, i.e. copy it to /usr/share/applications – Tomas Jul 1 '12 at 1:08
You can save it to ~/.local/share/applications/`` so you don't need root privileges. The User App Folder` button in the file dialogs takes you there. – Florian Diesch Jul 1 '12 at 17:58
Thanks for your advice. Since there aren't any other answers, I'll set yours as accepted. Very nice piece of software, I'll keep using it :) – Tomas Jul 6 '12 at 5:30

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