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I am an Ubuntu-newbie and just started working with Ubuntu (version 12.04 LTS) a couple of days ago. I wanted to add a launcher icon to desktop for launching an application I previously installed. Up to now I can only launch it by typing

setsid matlab -desktop

into my terminal. Now there is the following problem with the execution via the desktop icon: Whenever I click the desktop icon, I get the following error message:

"Failed to execute child process" I would like to add a screenshot, but unfortunately as a new user, I am not allowed to...

In the main menu from where I added the icon via drag'n'drop to desktop there is also a permission to execute the .desktop file.

I also tried to look for advice on the error message "Failed to execute child process..." but could not find anything useful. Now does anybody have an idea what I am missing? Sorry if this is a stupid question ;) ...but as I just said: I just started with Ubuntu... Thanks to everybody in advance for their help! :)

And let me know if you should need any more information...

Regards, Ron

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

Add a desktop launcher following this tutorial. In the command field enter matlab -desktop and choose a name and comment of your liking. You can add it to the launcher simply by dragging and dropping it.

Edit: If you installed matlab in your home folder or any other custom directory, replace matlab -desktop with /path/to/matlab -desktop.

share|improve this answer
Hi there, thanks for the quick response. I am using /home/std/matlab/bin/matlab -desktop in the command field now since your solution produced a similar error message: "Details: Failed to execute child process "matlab" (No such file or directory)". But this was (probably) due to the fact that Ubuntu did not know the path to the executable file. I just stated the complete path and now double-clicking the icon on my desktop works :) Else, I guess, I would have to add this path to some environment variables etc... which is probably more complicated... – Ron Sep 21 '12 at 12:10
I am glad you figured it out. I edited my answer to accomodate for different install paths. Please consider accepting my post to help future users with the same or a similar question. – Glutanimate Sep 21 '12 at 15:18
I would like to rate your post as useful, but unfortunately, I am not allowed to do so. I get a message: "Vote Up requires 15 reputation". – Ron Sep 21 '12 at 16:51
Oh, yes, that's true. New users can't upvote, but you can still click on the small check mark beside an answer to mark it as accepted, if you want. – Glutanimate Sep 21 '12 at 19:09
@user961627 As far as I know files on Windows partitions (i.e. NTFS/FAT partitions) are set to non-executable by default. You might want to look into finding a way to execute files on NTFS partitions. Please feel free to open a new question if you don't manage to find a solution. – Glutanimate Dec 11 '14 at 14:34

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