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Back when I was using gnome I had a number of quick shortcuts to various applications with custom switches tucked away in "drawers". It meant a two-click distance to things like starting and stopping servers, or gaining a shell in a particular server.

Is there an equivalent to this in Unity?

I've tried creating desktop icons, but they always seem to get bundled together on the unity bar, making the tooltip misleading and difficult to find a currently running shell on a particular server. (e.g. The tooltip always lists the name of the first server called as a shell, and separate to shells called from the unity bar.)

I've heard that I can create special commands that enable me to right-click an icon in the unity bar, is that the better solution to this?

Ideally, I'd like to be able to visually select an icon, since each one of my servers has it's own unique icon anyway for this sort of thing.

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Try Drawers for an easy (drag-n-drop) way to create custom launchers. It's an app I wrote to bundle together different launchers or shortcuts for files, weblinks, etc. It's easy to edit contents names and execution lines once they're added to the drawer (right-click items and choose Edit Properties).

Here's a video I recently created to show its usage.

Here's what it looks like when you open a drawer:

enter image description here

Any items you add to the drawer will be available also through Quicklists (right-clicking the launcher) so opening a drawer isn't even necessary.

I will be releasing a new version shortly (13.1.1) that has a number of improvements including launching applications in terminals.

To install add the repository:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ian-berke/ppa-drawers
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install drawers
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You could create a custom launcher pointing to a script with all the switches you want to execute.

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