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I just installed the lastest version of UGENE. I works fine but in order to use it, I have to enter the following in the terminal: cd ugene-1.11.5/ then execute ./ugene -ui to launch UGENE GUI.

This takes too long. I would like to build a .desktop file for UGENE to be used in Ubuntu 12.04 so that I can simply open it from the unity launcher.

Not sure if this is helpful but the website says: By default ugene script launches the command-line version of UGENE.

Here's what I have (not sure if it's right):

[Desktop Entry]
Name=my Unipro UGENE
GenericName=Integrated Bioinformatics Suite
Comment=Unipro UGENE is a cross-platform visual environment for DNA and protein sequence analysis.
Exec=/home/samuel/ugene-1.11.5 ./ugene -ui -c %F

I added the launcher named my Unipro UGENE to my unity bar and tried opening it but it doesn't appear. I must be missing something. I don't know what the StartWMCClass field is suppose to be nor do I know whether I entered the correct MimeType.

share|improve this question
You can omit those. what is Adding Path? it is not required probably.. in exec put home/samuel/ugene-1.11.5/ugene -ui -c %F – Web-E Apr 14 '13 at 10:08
Terminal=true for CLI version may be needed. At least fales is not correct. – Takkat Apr 14 '13 at 13:30
thanks for the suggestions. I'll look into this some more later tonight. If I can't figure it out, I guess I'll start a bounty in 11 hours. Hope everyone's done their homework!! – cooldood3490 Apr 15 '13 at 22:42
up vote 53 down vote accepted

For reference see the Freedesktop Desktop Entry Specification, but this should work:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Unipro UGENE
Comment=Unipro UGENE is a cross-platform visual environment for DNA and protein sequence analysis.
Exec=/home/samuel/ugene-1.11.5/ugene -ui

Some notes:


  • Should be 1.0, it refers to the .desktop file version, not to the program version.


  • The name that should be displayed on the menu.


  • The full path to the executable. No need to use '.', it just means the current dir


  • The dir that will be set as current when the entry is run. You usually don't need to set it, but I have added it just in case. It is the same as using 'cd' in your command line


  • The path to the icon file that will be used for the file, it's likely that the one that you put doesn't exists, I have changed it for a generic one. You should change this to the file that you want the icon to use


  • Specifies the kind of files that this program is able to open. I've left it empty.


  • Only needed for some programs, It is usually needed by java programs but only set it if you notice some problems.

To use the desktop file from the Dash you will need to copy it to /usr/share/applications for any user to be able to use it (you will need administrator permissions) or to ~/.local/share/applications (where ~ means your user directory) if you just want it to be available for one user.

share|improve this answer
excellent, works like a charm. thanks for providing a link to the specs and adding a detailed description on which ones you added. This way I know what to do next time I want to create a .desktop file. – cooldood3490 Apr 17 '13 at 0:20
Just to note that I have fixed a common mistake in the desktop file; when using multiple values you need to include the trailing semi-colon. – Cas Apr 19 '13 at 18:29

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