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I know the desktop files live in /usr/share/applications and ~/.local/share/applications. I'm looking for 2 information:

  1. Where can I see the desktop items that show in my launcher (I would love to have right-click properties on the launcher)

Update: Moved this part of my question to another entry to be able to give credit:

"When I type into the Dash applications show up with their title, how can I find the associated desktop file (again right click is missing)"

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

If you want to know which applications are pinned currently (from other launcher icons, which are also shown in the launcher) , you can use gsettings

Open a terminal and use this command

gsettings get com.canonical.Unity.Launcher favorites

This command gives me the output below, (the exact output may differ)

['nautilus-home.desktop', 'firefox.desktop', 'libreoffice-writer.desktop', 'libreoffice-calc.desktop', 'libreoffice-impress.desktop', 'ubuntu-software-center.desktop', 'gnome-terminal.desktop', 'wimaxcmgui.desktop', 'synaptic.desktop']

The .desktop files are with the exact name in the output. But, you may not see the name though.

You can use cp command to copy them in some other directory.

  • First use this command to get a variable list with the list of .desktop files which are pinned.

    export list=`gsettings get com.canonical.Unity.Launcher favorites | grep .*.desktop | tr "[]\'," " "`
  • Then copy those files in your Desktop.

    cd /usr/share/applications && cp $list ~/Desktop && cd

Hope this will help. You now have the .desktop files which are pinned in your desktop.

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Works partially. If you have application in ~/.local/share/applications they are not copied. But that's easy to solve (and was the bonus part of the answer anyhow). Thx for helping – stwissel Sep 15 '12 at 6:46
@stwissel thanks. you can do this by first copying files from local dir and then copying from system dir (without replacing). But, I though, you just wanted to have them to edit so the system ones are good for that. – Anwar Shah Sep 15 '12 at 6:48
(I confused gsettings and gconf (again), and made a bad comment. Wiped it; sorry.) – Ed Donovan Sep 25 '12 at 18:37

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