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Please note that right now, most of the information contained below is outdated and cannot be updated. Be careful, most of this won't work on Ubuntu 12.04 and newer.

Creating a custom launcher for Unity is simple. Quicklists provide an easy and efficient way to quickly access commonly used tasks for a specific application.

NOTE: Starting with Ubuntu 11.10, this popup option has vanished. Launchers can now only be created by editing text files in your home folder.

Creating a custom launcher is easy.

  1. Right-click on your desktop and click create a launcher.
  2. Edit the .desktop file using a text editor. (More information can be found here and here.)

So, which custom launchers do you use on Unity?

Note: Please limit yourself to one custom launcher per answer. Also, please provide a screenshot of it in action.

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46 Answers 46

Google Services Launcher

A custom launcher for common services like gmail, calendar, composing a new message.

enter image description here

  1. Create a new file by opening Text Editor and paste the following text into it:

    [Desktop Entry]
    Version=1.0
    Name=Google Services
    Exec=xdg-open https://accounts.google.com/
    Terminal=false
    X-MultipleArgs=false
    Type=Application
    Icon=chrome-https___docs.google.com_
    Categories=Network;WebBrowser;
    StartupNotify=true
    StartupWMClass=docs.google.com
    
    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Plus;Inbox;Compose;Voice;Contacts;Calendar;Documents;Photos;Maps;Sites;Reader;Bookmarks
    Name[en_US]=Google Services (Gmail)
    [Plus Shortcut Group]
    Name=Plus
    Exec=xdg-open 'https://plus.google.com/u/0/'
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    [Inbox Shortcut Group]
    Name=InBox
    Exec=xdg-open 'https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?shva=1#inbox'
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    [Compose Shortcut Group]
    Name=Compose
    Exec=xdg-open 'https://mail.google.com/mail/?shva=1#compose'
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    [Voice Shortcut Group]
    Name=Voice
    Exec=xdg-open 'https://www.google.com/voice/b/0?pli=1#inbox'
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    [Contacts Shortcut Group]
    Name=Contacts
    Exec=xdg-open 'https://www.google.com/contacts'
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    [Calendar Shortcut Group]
    Name=Calendar
    Exec=xdg-open 'https://calendar.google.com'
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    [Documents Shortcut Group]
    Name=Documents
    Exec=xdg-open https://docs.google.com/
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    [Photos Shortcut Group]
    Name=Photos
    Exec=xdg-open 'https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos'
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    [Maps Shortcut Group]
    Name=Maps
    Exec=xdg-open 'http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=ml'
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    [Sites Shortcut Group]
    Name=Sites
    Exec=xdg-open 'https://sites.google.com/?tab=m3&pli=1'
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    [Reader Shortcut Group]
    Name=Reader
    Exec=xdg-open 'https://www.google.com/reader/view/?hl=en&tab=my'
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    [Bookmarks Shortcut Group]
    Name=Bookmarks
    Exec=xdg-open 'https://www.google.com/bookmarks/l'
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
  2. Save the file with this folder location and name:

     ~/.local/share/applications/google-services-launcher.desktop
    
  3. Drag and Drop this file onto the launcher by navigating to ~/.local/share/applications/ in File Manager.

You can download the icon here.

Source

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1  
Why does it use google-chrome? I guess it would be better to use the default browser, by executing gnome-www-browser link –  Rafał Cieślak Aug 4 '11 at 15:23

SSH Launcher

Access of list of your favorite SSH servers quickly.

ssh quicklist

  1. Create a new file with gedit, in the Terminal type:

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/ssh-launcher.desktop
    
  2. Copy & Paste this text into the above file:

    [Desktop Entry]
    Version=1.0
    Name=Remote Servers
    Comment=Login to my servers
    Exec=gnome-terminal --disable-factory --sm-client-disable --class=remoteserver -x ssh -t minibox.local 
    Terminal=false
    X-MultipleArgs=false
    Type=Application
    Icon=utilities-terminal
    StartupNotify=true
    StartupWMClass=RemoteServers
    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Server1;
    
    [Server1 Shortcut Group]
    Name=SSH into minibox.local
    Exec=gnome-terminal --disable-factory --sm-client-disable  --class=remoteserver -x ssh -t minibox.local
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    Comment=You can create more of these. Just add to X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts a "Server2", "Server3" etc, then change the domain name (in this case, "minibox.local") to the name of your server. You'll also notice that the default action (When you just click the icon in the launcher) is to SSH into minibox.local - you'll need to change that to your most used server.
    
  3. Drag and Drop onto the launcher by navigating to ~/.local/share/applications/ in Nautilus.

Source 1, Source 2

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1  
This one doesn't actually work properly currently. The gnome-terminal windows appear under the normal gnome-terminal launcher icon instead of the ssh-launcher one. This only happens if you launch your first remote connection from the quicklist. If you open one with left click it works correctly, and all subsequent windows also work correctly. –  Alistair Buxton Feb 23 '12 at 2:31

Home Icon Quicklist

Home Icon Quicklist

  1. Copy 'Home Folder' launcher file to your home directory:

    mkdir ~/.local/share/applications
    cp /usr/share/applications/nautilus-home.desktop ~/.local/share/applications
    
  2. Open the file for editing in gedit:

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/nautilus-home.desktop
    
  3. Delete the following line from the file:

    OnlyShowIn=GNOME;
    
  4. Add this text to the bottom of the file, then close and save:

    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Videos;Documents;Music;Pictures;Downloads
    [Videos Shortcut Group]
    Name=Videos
    Exec=nautilus Videos
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Documents Shortcut Group]
    Name=Documents
    Exec=nautilus Documents
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Music Shortcut Group]
    Name=Music
    Exec=nautilus Music
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Pictures Shortcut Group]
    Name=Pictures
    Exec=nautilus Pictures
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Downloads Shortcut Group]
    Name=Downloads
    Exec=nautilus Downloads
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
  5. Log out and log in again to see the changes.

Source

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2  
it seems that this only works with english locales, or at least it does not work for me (german) –  marto May 3 '11 at 17:45
2  
@marto Good Comment!! This is can be rectified by making a small modification....you have to add " Name[de] = the german translation"....and do this for each command. –  nik90 May 3 '11 at 18:29
5  
Make sure the OnlyShowIn line lists Unity: OnlyShowIn=GNOME;Unity; This didn't work for me until I caught this, since my original file only listed GNOME. –  keithjgrant May 6 '11 at 17:28
2  
If "OnlyShowIn=GNOME;Unity;" line is not removed your "Home Folder Launcher Icon" will only launch the app, not control it (youtu.be/oS52pYNFZ6I). A 2nd icon will show up that does the controlling part. I learnt it the hard way, Until this set me right askubuntu.com/questions/35024/… –  Bhargav Nov 28 '11 at 18:09

Firefox Quicklist

Add handy Firefox options to the launcher.

enter image description here

  1. Copy your original .desktop file into your home directory for editing:

    cp /usr/share/applications/firefox.desktop ~/.local/share/applications
    
  2. Open in gedit:

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/firefox.desktop 
    
  3. Find and edit the following line:

    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=NewWindow;
    

    to match this line:

    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=NewWindow;SafeMode;ProfileManager;
    
  4. Add this text to the bottom of the .desktop, then save the file:

    [SafeMode Shortcut Group]
    Name=Open Firefox in safe mode
    Exec=firefox -safe-mode
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [ProfileManager Shortcut Group]
    Name=Firefox Profile Manager
    Exec=firefox -ProfileManager
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
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Opera Quicklist

enter image description here

  1. Copy your original .desktop file into your home directory for editing:

    cp /usr/share/applications/opera-browser.desktop ~/.local/share/applications
    
  2. Open terminal and enter the following:

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/opera-browser.desktop
    
  3. At the bottom of the file, add the following lines, then save and close:

    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=NewTab;NewPrivateTab;NewWindow;Mail;
    
    [NewTab Shortcut Group]
    Name=New Tab
    Exec=opera -newtab
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [NewPrivateTab Shortcut Group]
    Name=New Private Tab
    Exec=opera -newprivatetab
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [NewWindow Shortcut Group]
    Name=New Window
    Exec=opera -newwindow
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Mail Shortcut Group]
    Name=Mail
    Exec=opera -mail
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
  4. Add the icon to your launcher if it is not already and your quicklists should now be working.

Tips:

You can also make Mail open a new tab at a specific address if you want by replacing its Exec command to be (for example):

Exec=opera -newtab "http://www.gmail.com/"

Sources, 1, 2, 3

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LibreOffice Quicklist

This creates a quicklist for the LibreOffice Start Center launcher.

LibreOffice Quicklist

  1. Copy your original .desktop file into your home directory for editing:

    cp /usr/share/applications/libreoffice-startcenter.desktop ~/.local/share/applications
    
  2. Open in gedit:

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/libreoffice-startcenter.desktop
    
  3. Edit the MimeType line:

    Find the following line:

    MimeType=application/vnd.openofficeorg.extension;
    

    Replace with:

    MimeType=application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.text;application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.text-template;application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.text-web;application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.text-master;application/vnd.sun.xml.writer;application/vnd.sun.xml.writer.template;application/vnd.sun.xml.writer.global;application/vnd.stardivision.writer;application/msword;application/vnd.ms-word;application/x-doc;application/rtf;text/rtf;application/vnd.wordperfect;application/wordperfect;application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.document;application/vnd.ms-word.document.macroenabled.12;application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.wordprocessingml.template;application/vnd.ms-word.template.macroenabled.12;application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.spreadsheet;application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.spreadsheet-template;application/vnd.sun.xml.calc;application/vnd.sun.xml.calc.template;application/vnd.stardivision.calc;application/vnd.stardivision.chart;application/msexcel;application/vnd.ms-excel;application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.spreadsheetml.sheet;application/vnd.ms-excel.sheet.macroenabled.12;application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.spreadsheetml.template;application/vnd.ms-excel.template.macroenabled.12;application/vnd.ms-excel.sheet.binary.macroenabled.12;text/csv;application/x-dbf;application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.graphics;application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.graphics-template;application/vnd.sun.xml.draw;application/vnd.sun.xml.draw.template;application/vnd.stardivision.draw;application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.presentation;application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.presentation-template;application/vnd.sun.xml.impress;application/vnd.sun.xml.impress.template;application/vnd.stardivision.impress;application/mspowerpoint;application/vnd.ms-powerpoint;application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.presentationml.presentation;application/vnd.ms-powerpoint.presentation.macroenabled.12;application/vnd.openxmlformats-officedocument.presentationml.template;application/vnd.ms-powerpoint.template.macroenabled.12;application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.formula;application/vnd.sun.xml.math;application/vnd.stardivision.math;
    
  4. Highlight and copy the text below, then paste it at the bottom of the .desktop file:

    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Writer;Impress;Calc;Math;Draw
    
    [Writer Shortcut Group]
    Name=Writer
    Exec=libreoffice -writer %U
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Impress Shortcut Group]
    Name=Impress
    Exec=libreoffice -impress %U
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Calc Shortcut Group]
    Name=Calc
    Exec=libreoffice -calc %U
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Math Shortcut Group]
    Name=Math
    Exec=libreoffice -math %U
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Draw Shortcut Group]
    Name=Draw
    Exec=libreoffice -draw %U
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    

    Note: For LibreOffice 3.4 and 3.4.1: in Exec; libreoffice must be replaced with `libreoffice3.4', but it seems in Oneiric we don't need to add the version number. I'm testing it from Oneiric and leaving default just run well, adding the verison number make the quicklist unusable

  5. Navigate to ~/.local/share/applications and drag'n'drop the LibreOffice Start Center desktop file onto the launcher.

A similar modification can be made to the LibreOffice Writer launcher.

Source

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1  
For LibreOffice 3.4 and 3.4.1: in Exec; libreoffice must be replaced with libreoffice3.4 . –  Binarylife Jul 1 '11 at 22:21

Filezilla FTP Quicklist

Quickly access your favourite FTP servers with from the Filezilla launcher.

filezilla quicklist

There is two options of making a FileZille quicklist. You can link to sites in the Site Manager (the safe option); or you can enter connection info directly in the .desktop file (the option without the Site Manager).

Link to Site Manager (the safe option)

  1. Copy the Filezilla launcher to your home directory, in Terminal paste the following:

    cp /usr/share/applications/filezilla.desktop ~/.local/share/applications
    
  2. Open this file for editing:

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/filezilla.desktop
    
  3. Append the text below at the bottom of the .desktop file, adding a "Shortcut Group" for each site you want to link. In the Exec parameter you should put the path of your FTP site in Site Manager. The 2° shortcut directly open the Filezilla Site Manager.

    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Server1;sitemanager
    
    [Server1 Shortcut Group]
    Name=Site Name
    Exec=filezilla -c "0/Folder Name/Site Name"
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [sitemanager Shortcut Group]
    Name=Site Manager
    Exec=filezilla -s
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    

For details, you should look at the Command-line arguments page on Filezilla wiki.

Source


Directly enter connection details (the quick but unsafe option)

Note: There is a security problem with this option in that you will be storing your password in plain text. Do this only if you know the risk, this is a very "hackish" way of doing things. If you use the Site Manager in FileZilla, do use the option above which uses the info already stored in Filezilla Site Manager configuration.

  1. Copy the Filezilla launcher to your home directory, in Terminal paste the following:

    cp /usr/share/applications/filezilla.desktop ~/.local/share/applications
    
  2. Open this file for editing:

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/filezilla.desktop
    
  3. Highlight and copy the text below, then paste it at the bottom of the .desktop file. Edit the FTP server details to match your own, then save the file.

    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Server1;
    
    [Server1 Shortcut Group]
    Name=FTP into test server 
    Exec=filezilla ftp://test:test@ftp.secureftp-test.com:21
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    

    You'll want to change the "test:test" with your username/password respectively, and the "ftp.secureftp-test.com" with the domain of your ftp server.

Source

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Banshee Quicklist

banshee quicklist

  1. Copy the Banshee launcher to your home directory, in Terminal paste the following:

    cp /usr/share/applications/banshee.desktop ~/.local/share/applications
    
  2. Open this new file for editing:

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/banshee.desktop
    
  3. Highlight and copy the text below, then paste this at the bottom of the file.

    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Play;Pause;Stop;Previous;Next;Preferences
    
    [Play Shortcut Group]
    Name=Play
    Exec=banshee --play
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Pause Shortcut Group]
    Name=Pause
    Exec=banshee --pause
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Stop Shortcut Group]
    Name=Stop
    Exec=banshee --stop
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Previous Shortcut Group]
    Name=Previous
    Exec=banshee --previous
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Next Shortcut Group]
    Name=Next
    Exec=banshee --next
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Preferences Shortcut Group]
    Name=Preferences
    Exec=banshee --show-preferences
    TargetEnviroment=Unity
    

Sources: 1, 2

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Mines Quicklist

Quickly launch new games of Mine from the launcher.

mines quicklist

  1. Copy the Mines launcher to your home directory, in Terminal paste the following:

    cp /usr/share/applications/gnomine.desktop ~/.local/share/applications
    
  2. Open this file for editing:

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/gnomine.desktop
    
  3. Highlight and copy the text below, then paste it at the bottom of the .desktop file.

    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Small;Medium;Large;
    
    [Small Shortcut Group]
    Name=New Game (Small)
    Exec=gnomine -f 0
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Medium Shortcut Group]
    Name=New Game (Medium)
    Exec=gnomine -f 1
    TargetEnviroment=Unity
    
    [Large Shortcut Group]
    Name=New Game (Large)
    Exec=gnomine -f 2
    TargetEnviroment=Unity
    

Source

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Google Chrome Quicklist

chrome quicklist

  1. Copy the Google Chrome launcher to your home directory, in Terminal paste the following:

    cp /opt/google/chrome/google-chrome.desktop ~/.local/share/applications
    
  2. Open this file for editing:

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop
    
  3. Highlight and copy the text below, then paste it at the bottom of the file.

    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=NewWindow;Incognito;
    
    [NewWindow Shortcut Group]
    Name=New Window
    Exec=google-chrome
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Incognito Shortcut Group]
    Name=New incognito window
    Exec=google-chrome --incognito
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    

Source

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5  
This is now default in the stable build. –  Dante Ashton Aug 12 '11 at 14:17

Chromium Quicklist

Chromium

  1. Copy the Chromium launcher to your home directory, in Terminal paste the following:

    cp /usr/share/applications/chromium-browser.desktop ~/.local/share/applications
    
  2. Open this file for editing:

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/chromium-browser.desktop
    
  3. Highlight and copy the text below, then paste it at the bottom of the file.

    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=NewWindow;Incognito;
    
    [NewWindow Shortcut Group]
    Name=New Window
    Exec=chromium-browser
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Incognito Shortcut Group]
    Name=New incognito window
    Exec=chromium-browser --incognito
    TargetEnvironment=Unity  
    

Source

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2  
For the record, Chromium packages from the chromium-daily PPA come with Unity quicklists preconfigured. –  Marius Gedminas May 23 '11 at 14:54

LAMP Quicklist

Screenshot

  1. Open a new file:

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/lamp.desktop
    
  2. Copy the text below

    [Desktop Entry]
    Name=LAMP
    GenericName=LAMP
    X-GNOME-FullName=LAMP
    Comment=Open services of your LAMP server
    Exec=gksu service apache2 start && gksu service mysql start
    Icon=emblem-web
    Terminal=false
    Type=Application
    StartupNotify=true
    
    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Start;Stop;Restart
    
    
    [Start Shortcut Group]
    Name=Start
    Exec=gksu service apache2 start && gksu service mysql start
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Stop Shortcut Group]
    Name=Stop
    Exec=gksu service apache2 stop && gksu service mysql stop
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Restart Shortcut Group]
    Name=Restart
    Exec=gksu service apache2 restart && gksu service mysql restart
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
  3. Drag and Drop onto the launcher by navigating to ~/.local/share/applications/ in Nautilus.

share

Rhythmbox Quicklist

Screenshot

  1. Copy the Rhythmbox launcher to your home directory, in Terminal paste the following:

    cp /usr/share/applications/rhythmbox.desktop ~/.local/share/applications
    
  2. Open this file for editing:

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/rhythmbox.desktop
    
  3. Highlight and copy the text below, then paste it at the bottom of the file:

    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Play;Pause;Previous;Next;Stop
    
    [Play Shortcut Group]  
    Name=Play  
    Exec=rhythmbox-client --play  
    TargetEnvironment=Unity  
    
    [Pause Shortcut Group]  
    Name=Pause  
    Exec=rhythmbox-client --pause  
    TargetEnvironment=Unity  
    
    [Previous Shortcut Group]  
    Name=Previous  
    Exec=rhythmbox-client --previous  
    TargetEnvironment=Unity  
    
    [Next Shortcut Group]  
    Name=Next  
    Exec=rhythmbox-client --next  
    TargetEnvironment=Unity  
    
    [Stop Shortcut Group]  
    Name=Stop  
    Exec=rhythmbox-client --stop  
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
  4. Save the file.

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Google Docs Quicklist

enter image description here

  1. Create a new file with this command:

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/gdocs.desktop
    
  2. Paste in the text below:

    [Desktop Entry]
    Version=1.0
    Name=Google Docs
    Exec=xdg-open https://docs.google.com/
    Terminal=false
    X-MultipleArgs=false
    Type=Application
    Icon=chrome-https___docs.google.com_
    Categories=Network;WebBrowser;
    StartupNotify=true
    StartupWMClass=docs.google.com
    
    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Doc;Spreadsheet;Presentation;Drawing
    
    [Doc Shortcut Group]
    Name=New Document
    Exec=xdg-open https://docs.google.com/?action=newdoc
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Spreadsheet Shortcut Group]
    Name=New Spreadsheet
    Exec=xdg-open https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?new
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Presentation Shortcut Group]
    Name=New Presentation
    Exec=xdg-open https://docs.google.com/?action=new_presentation
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Drawing Shortcut Group]
    Name=New Drawing
    Exec=xdg-open https://docs.google.com/drawings/create?hl=en
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    

    Note that this opens in your default browser. For chrome/ium fullscreen apps, find and replace xdg-open with chromium-browser and https: with --app=https:.

  3. Drag the gdocs.desktop into the launcher from ~/.local/share/applications/

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Ubuntu Software Center Quicklist

Quickly add PPAs through the software-properties UI and update sources as well.

Software manager quicklist

  1. Copy the original .desktop file to your home folder using Terminal:

    cp /usr/share/applications/ubuntu-software-center.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/

  2. Open the file for editing with gedit:

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/ubuntu-software-center.desktop

  3. Add the following at the bottom of the file. This should be entered after the line X-Ubuntu-Gettext-Domain=software-center

.

X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=SoftwareUpdates;SoftwareProperties;Synaptic;

[SoftwareUpdates Shortcut Group]  
Name=Update Manager  
Exec=update-manager -c  
OnlyShowIn=Unity

[SoftwareProperties Shortcut Group]  
Name=Add/Edit PPAs  
Exec=gksu software-properties-gtk %u  
OnlyShowIn=Unity

[Synaptic Shortcut Group]  
Name=Synaptic Software Manager  
Exec=gksu synaptic %u  
OnlyShowIn=Unity
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Terminal Quicklist

terminal img (updated)

  1. Copy original Terminal launcher into your home directory using Terminal:

    cp /usr/share/applications/gnome-terminal.desktop ~/.local/share/applications
    
  2. Open the file with gedit still using Terminal:

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/gnome-terminal.desktop
    
  3. Find the following line from the file:

    OnlyShowIn=GNOME;
    

    Replace the above line with:

    OnlyShowIn=GNOME;Unity;
    
  4. Add this text to the bottom of the file then Save & Close it:

    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=NewWindow;NewTab;Top;Root;
    
    [NewWindow Shortcut Group]
    Name=New Window
    Exec=gnome-terminal --window
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [NewTab Shortcut Group]
    Name=New Tab
    Exec=xdotool windowfocus gnome-terminal key ctrl+shift+t
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Root Shortcut Group]
    Name=Root Terminal
    Exec=gksudo gnome-terminal
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Top Shortcut Group]
    Name=Top
    Exec=gnome-terminal --command top
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
  5. To enable the 'New Tab' option you need to install xdotool Install xdotool from Ubuntu Software Centre

  6. Close all Terminal windows, right-click on its launcher icon and untick 'Keep In Launcher'

  7. Open Dash, run Terminal and the new launcher with quicklist will appear.

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1  
the new tab shorcut form me open a new window. the command is correct... –  Matteo Pagliazzi May 4 '11 at 17:41
1  
I've found the solution by using a bash script and xdotool :D I am just testing it and then will add instructions. –  Cas May 5 '11 at 1:39

Extended Home Icon Quicklist

Quick Lists

  1. Copy 'Home Folder' launcher file to your home directory with Terminal:

    cp /usr/share/applications/nautilus-home.desktop ~/.local/share/applications
    
  2. Open the file for editing in gedit:

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/nautilus-home.desktop
    
  3. Delete the following line from the file:

    OnlyShowIn=GNOME;
    
  4. Add this text to the bottom of the file, then close and save:

    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Amazon;Backgrounds;CD Covers;Documents;Downloads;Dropbox;DVD Projects;Google Earth;Listings;Music;Notes;Photographs;Podcasts;Public;Templates;Themes;Transmission;Videos
    
    [Amazon Shortcut Group]
    Name=Amazon
    Exec=nautilus Amazon
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Backgrounds Shortcut Group]
    Name=Backgrounds
    Exec=nautilus Backgrounds
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [CD Covers Shortcut Group]
    Name=CD Covers
    Exec=nautilus CDCovers
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Documents Shortcut Group]
    Name=Documents
    Exec=nautilus Documents
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Dropbox Shortcut Group]
    Name=Dropbox
    Exec=nautilus Dropbox
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Downloads Shortcut Group]
    Name=Downloads
    Exec=nautilus Downloads
    
    [DVD Projects Shortcut Group]
    Name=DVD Projects
    Exec=nautilus DVDProjects
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Google Earth Shortcut Group]
    Name=Google Earth
    Exec=nautilus GoogleEarth
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Listings Shortcut Group]
    Name=Listings
    Exec=nautilus Listings
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Notes Shortcut Group]
    Name=Notes
    Exec=nautilus Notes
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Photographs Shortcut Group]
    Name=Photographs
    Exec=nautilus Photographs
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Podcasts Shortcut Group]
    Name=Podcasts
    Exec=nautilus Podcasts
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Public Shortcut Group]
    Name=Public
    Exec=nautilus Public
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Templates Shortcut Group]
    Name=Templates
    Exec=nautilus Templates
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Themes Shortcut Group]
    Name=Themes
    Exec=nautilus Themes
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Transmission Shortcut Group]
    Name=Transmission
    Exec=nautilus Transmission
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Videos Shortcut Group]
    Name=Videos
    Exec=nautilus Videos
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
  5. Log out and log in again to see the changes.

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2  
Please use the same formatting and layout as the other answers. –  Cas May 3 '11 at 18:31
4  
@Pablo YOU can tailor it to YOUR home folder. –  scouser73 May 18 '11 at 16:03

DeaDBeeF Quicklist

DeaDBeeF Quicklist

  1. Copy launcher file to your home directory:

    cp /usr/share/applications/deadbeef.desktop ~/.local/share/applications
    
  2. Open the file for editing in gedit:

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/deadbeef.desktop
    
  3. Add this text to the bottom of the file, then close and save:

    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Play;Pause;Stop;Next;Prev
    [Play Shortcut Group]
    Name=Play
    Exec=deadbeef --play
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Pause Shortcut Group]
    Name=Pause
    Exec=deadbeef --pause
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Stop Shortcut Group]
    Name=Stop
    Exec=deadbeef --stop
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Next Shortcut Group]
    Name=Next
    Exec=deadbeef --next
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Prev Shortcut Group]
    Name=Prev
    Exec=deadbeef --prev
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
  4. Optional: Change the drag & drop function of the launcher so it appends files to the playlist instead of clearing it:

    Find Exec=deadbeef %F and Replace with Exec=deadbeef --queue %F


There are a few other commands available in deadbeef -h but these are the only ones that seem useful in a quicklist.

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Déjà Dup Quicklist

Déjà Dup Quicklist

  1. Copy Déjà Dup launcher file to your home directory with Terminal:

    cp /usr/share/applications/deja-dup.desktop ~/.local/share/applications
    
  2. Open the file for editing in Text Editor:

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/deja-dup.desktop
    
  3. Add this text to the bottom of the file, then close and save:

    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=BackupNow;
    
    [BackupNow Shortcut Group]
    Name=Backup Now
    Exec=deja-dup --backup
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
  4. Remove Déjà Dup Icon from Launcher (untick Keep In Launcher) then open the application from Dash, the new quicklist should appear and you can re-tick Keep In Launcher.

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Gedit Quicklist

gedit

  1. Copy 'Gedit' launcher file to your home directory using Terminal

    cp /usr/share/applications/gedit.desktop ~/.local/share/applications
    
  2. Open the file for editing in gedit :

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/gedit.desktop
    
  3. Add this text to the bottom of the file and replace the <username> text to match your home folder username then save & close:

    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=OpenDoc;OpenDocRoot;
    
    [OpenDoc Shortcut Group]
    Name=Open file...
    Exec=/home/<username>/.local/share/applications/scripts/gedit-shortcuts normal-mode
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [OpenDocRoot Shortcut Group]
    Name=Open file as root...
    Exec=/home/<username>/.local/share/applications/scripts/gedit-shortcuts root-mode
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
  4. Create a 'scripts' folder in ~/.local/share/applications folder:

    mkdir ~/.local/share/applications/scripts
    
  5. Create the script file 'gedit-shortcuts' with gedit:

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/scripts/gedit-shortcuts
    
  6. Add this text to the file then save and close:

    #!/bin/bash
    
    case $1 in
    normal-mode) gedit $(zenity --title='Open file...' --file-selection);;
    root-mode) gksudo -u root -m "Running Gedit as user root allow you to modify some essential files of your system" "bash -c 'gedit \$(zenity --title=\'Open file as user root...\' --file-selection)'";;
    esac
    
  7. Make the file executable:

    chmod +x ~/.local/share/applications/scripts/gedit-shortcuts
    
  8. Drag & Drop the gedit.desktop file from ~/.local/share/applications in nautilus to the Unity Launcher Bar

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Thunderbird Quicklist

Thunderbird Lanuncher

  1. Copy the launcher file to your home directory:

    cp /usr/share/applications/thunderbird.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/thunderbird.desktop

  2. Open the file with Text Editor

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/thunderbird.desktop

  3. Add the text at the bottom of the file and save it.

    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Compose;AddressBook;ProfileManager;

    [Compose Shortcut Group]
    Name=Compose
    Exec=thunderbird -compose
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [AddressBook Shortcut Group]
    Name=Address Book
    Exec=thunderbird -addressbook
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [ProfileManager Shortcut Group]
    Name=Profile Manager
    Exec=thunderbird -ProfileManager
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
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VirtualBox Quicklist

This adds a quicklist entry for your Virtualbox virtual machines. The following example uses 'Windows XP' so will require editing to match your own VM details.

  1. Copy the file to your home directory

    cp /usr/share/applications/virtualbox.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/virtualbox.desktop
    
  2. Open the file with Text Editor

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/virtualbox.desktop
    
  3. Add the text at the bottom of the file and save it.

    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=WindowsXP
    
    [WindowsXP Shortcut Group]
    Name=Start Windows XP
    Exec=/usr/lib/virtualbox/VirtualBox --comment "Windows XP" --startvm "Windows XP"
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
  4. Drag & Drop the virtualbox.desktop file from ~/.local/share/applications in nautilus to the Unity Launcher Bar

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Opera Launcher & Quicklist (Part 2)

  • Tab counter

    The total number of tabs you have open appears on the Launcher icon and is updated in real time as you open and close tabs;

  • Urgency

    When Opera is not in focus and a new tab is opened, the Opera icon in the Launcher now enters urgency mode and wiggles once;

  • Quicklist

    With (at the moment) limited support for Opera’s built in Mail client (M2).

    Quicklist Urgency Tab count

Installation

  1. Extract the script from this zip into your home folder.

  2. Open Startup Applications and add an entry using the above script as follows:

    Command: python unity-opera.py

    startup

Source

Kudos go to Kyle Baker!

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UMPlayer Quicklist

enter image description here

  • Copy the original .desktop file to your home folder:

    cp /usr/share/applications/umplayer.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/

  • Open that desktop file for editing :

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/umplayer.desktop

  • Add the following at the bottom of the file.

     X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Play;Pause;Stop;Fullscreen;
    
     [Play Shortcut Group]
     Name=Play
     Exec=umplayer -send-action play
     TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
     [Pause Shortcut Group]
     Name=Pause
     Exec=umplayer -send-action pause
     TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
     [Stop Shortcut Group]
     Name=Stop
     Exec=umplayer -send-action stop
     TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
     [Fullscreen Shortcut Group]
     Name=Fullscreen
     Exec=umplayer -send-action fullscreen
     TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
  • Save it and navigate to ~/.local/share/applications/ and then drag it to the launcher .

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Firefox Quicklist Alternative

Puts a list of your favourite websites in the Firefox Quicklist.

End Result

  1. Copy firefox.desktop to home.

    cp /usr/share/applications/firefox.desktop ~/.local/share/applications
    
  2. Open for editing

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/firefox.desktop
    
  3. Add to the bottom, edit the websites to your favorites

    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=OMGUbuntu;WebUpd8;UbuntuForums;AskUbuntu;UbuntuLaunchpad;NewWindow
    [OMGUbuntu Shortcut Group]
    Name=OMG! Ubuntu
    Exec=firefox -new-window 'http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/'
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [WebUpd8 Shortcut Group]
    Name=WebUpd8
    Exec=firefox -new-window 'http://www.webupd8.org/'
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [UbuntuForums Shortcut Group]
    Name=Ubuntu Forums
    Exec=firefox -new-window 'http://ubuntuforums.org'
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [AskUbuntu Shortcut Group]
    Name=Ask Ubuntu
    Exec=firefox -new-window 'http://askubuntu.com/'
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [UbuntuLaunchpad Shortcut Group]
    Name=Ubuntu Launchpad
    Exec=firefox -new-window 'https://launchpad.net/ubuntu'
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [NewWindow Shortcut Group]
    Name=Open a New Window
    Exec=firefox -new-window about:blank
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
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Home Icon Quicklist (auto-update from bookmarks)

Here is a small shell script that updates your Home-Quicklist with all your bookmarks. No manual manipulation. It reads your bookmark file and creates the menu items from it. It also adds the "Root Filemanager" menu entry.

Screenshot of the quicklist in action

  1. Copy the script listed below into an empty file and put it in your scripts-folder (we will assume that is ~/bin/ and the script name you choose is unityhome.bash).
  2. Run the script once to add the entries:

    bash ~/bin/unityhome.bash
    
  3. Optionally you may have cron run the script for you every once in a while. To add it to cron, type the follwing command into a shell:

    crontab -e
    

    An editor will open. There add a line like:

    @reboot /bin/bash/ $HOME/bin/unityhome.bash > /dev/null 2>&1
    

    If you don't do this step, you'll have to run the script by hand every time you change your nautilus bookmarks if you want the quicklist updated.

  4. Changes only take effect on your next login or after you Alt+F2

    unity --replace
    

    So do that. Note: Don't run unity --replace in a terminal. If you close that terminal, it will kill unity with it.

  5. Enjoy and have a look at the similar script for gnome-terminal that parses your ssh bookmarks (in ~/.ssh/config).

Script:

Here is the script:

#!/bin/bash
# tabsize: 4, encoding: utf8
#
# © 2011 con-f-use@gmx.net. Use permitted under MIT license:
#     http://www.opensource.org/licenses/mit-license.php
# 
# CONTRIBUTORS: Chris Druif <cyber.druif@gmail.com>
#               Scott Severance <http://www.scottseverance.us/>
#               jacopoL <jacopo.jl@gmail.com>
# 
# This script updates the unity quicklist menu for nautilus to contain the user
# bookmarks. The updates will have efect after unity is restarted (either on
# the next login or by invoking 'unity --replace').

# location of template and unity bar launchers
nautempl="/usr/share/applications/nautilus-home.desktop"
target="$HOME/.local/share/applications/nautilus-home.desktop"
bookmarks="$HOME/.gtk-bookmarks"

# backup if file already exists
if [ -e "$target" ]; then
    echo "Creating backup of: $target."
    mv -n "$target" "$target.bak"
fi

# copy template
cp "$nautempl" "$target"

if ! grep -q 'OnlyShowIn=.*Unity' "$target"; then # add only if not already present
    sed -i "s/\(OnlyShowIn=.*\)/\1Unity;/" "$target"
fi

# due to a bug in Unity (Ubuntu 11.10+) we will have to completely remove the OnlyShowIn line:
# https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/unity/+bug/842257/comments/6
sed -i '/^OnlyShowIn=/d' "$target"

if ! grep -q 'X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=' "$target"; then # add only if not already present
    echo -e "\nX-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=\n" >> "$target"
else
    echo >> "$target"
fi
bmcount=0
while read bmline; do
    bmcount=$(($bmcount+1))     # number of current bookmark
    bmname=${bmline#*\ }        # name of the bookmark
    bmpath=${bmline%%\ *}       # path the bookmark leads to
    # deal with bookmarks that have no name
    if [ "$bmname" = "$bmpath" ]; then
        bmname=${bmpath##*/}
    fi
    # fix spaces in names and paths
    bmname="$(echo "$bmname" | sed 's/%20/ /g')"
    bmpath="$(echo "$bmpath" | sed 's/%20/ /g')"
    # fix accents in names and paths (for french users)
    bmname="$(echo "$bmname" | python -c 'import sys,urllib;sys.stdout.write(urllib.unquote(sys.stdin.read()))')"
    bmpath="$(echo "$bmpath" | python -c 'import sys,urllib;sys.stdout.write(urllib.unquote(sys.stdin.read()))')"
    # extend shortcut list with current bookmark, prepending a ; if needed
    sed -i "s/\(X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=\(.*;$\|$\)\)/\1Scg${bmcount};/
            t
            s/\(X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=.*\)/\1;Scg${bmcount};/" "$target"
    # write bookmark information
    cat - >> "$target" <<EOF

[Scg$bmcount Shortcut Group]
Name=$bmname
Exec=nautilus "$bmpath"
TargetEnvironment=Unity
EOF
done < "$bookmarks"

# Add a root file manager entry
sed -i "s/\(X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=.*\)/\1RootFM;/" "$target"
cat - >> "$target" <<EOF

[RootFM Shortcut Group]
Name=Root
Exec=gksudo nautilus
TargetEnvironment=Unity
EOF

exit 0

Improvement: Do not duplicate "Home folder" and "username"

If you don't want to have two items targeting your Home folder ("Home Folder" at the bottom of the quicklist and the clickable username), you can replace the following code:

    # write bookmark information
    cat - >> "$target" <<EOF

[Scg$bmcount Shortcut Group]
Name=$bmname
Exec=nautilus "$bmpath"
TargetEnvironment=Unity
EOF
done < "$bookmarks"

by the following code:

    # write bookmark information
    if [ "file://$HOME" != "$bmpath" ]; then
    cat - >> "$target" <<EOF

[Scg$bmcount Shortcut Group]
Name=$bmname
Exec=nautilus "$bmpath"
TargetEnvironment=Unity
EOF
    fi
done < "$bookmarks"
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2  
Basically the same thing exists as an indicator applet for unity: askubuntu.com/questions/30334/list-of-application-indicators/… –  con-f-use May 17 '11 at 15:20
1  
Don't forget to go to ~/.local/share/applications to drag the file nautilus-home.desktop to the Unity bar. –  Exeleration-G Jun 25 '11 at 12:16
1  
This script can now handle names and paths that contain spaces. –  Scott Severance Aug 17 '11 at 9:26

Transmission Quicklist

enter image description here

  1. Copy the global transmission-gtk.desktop file to your home directory:

    cp /usr/share/applications/transmission-gtk.desktop ~/.local/share/applications
    
  2. Edit the file:

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/transmission-gtk.desktop
    
  3. Paste the following code to the bottom of the file:

    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Pause All;Start All;
    
    [Pause All Shortcut Group]
    Name=Pause All
    Exec=transmission-remote -tall --stop
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Start All Shortcut Group]
    Name=Start All
    Exec=transmission-remote -tall --start
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    

You may also show number of downloading torrents and total progress indicator using script from https://github.com/kriomant/transmission-unity-launcher

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Clementine Quicklist

enter image description here

Adds play, pause, stop, next, and back to the clementine launcher.

  1. Copy the global clementine.desktop file to your home directory:

    cp /usr/share/applications/clementine.desktop ~/.local/share/applications
    
  2. Edit the file:

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/clementine.desktop
    
  3. Paste the following code to the bottom of the file:

    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Play;Pause;Stop;Previous;Next  
    
    [Play Shortcut Group]
    Name=Play
    Exec=clementine --play
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Pause Shortcut Group]
    Name=Pause
    Exec=clementine --pause
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Stop Shortcut Group]
    Name=Stop
    Exec=clementine --stop
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Previous Shortcut Group]
    Name=Previous
    Exec=clementine --previous
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Next Shortcut Group]
    Name=Next
    Exec=clementine --next
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
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Exaile Unity quicklist

Adds play/pause/stop/previous/next entries to Exaile.

Preview:

enter image description here

  1. Copy exaile.desktop to home folder's local share

    cp /usr/share/applications/exaile.desktop ~/.local/share/applications
    
  2. Edit it

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/exaile.desktop
    
  3. Add the following to the end of the .desktop file

    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Play;Pause;Stop;Previous;Next;
    
    [Play Shortcut Group]
    Name=Play
    Exec=exaile --play
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Pause Shortcut Group]
    Name=Pause
    Exec=exaile --play-pause
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Stop Shortcut Group]
    Name=Stop
    Exec=exaile --stop
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Previous Shortcut Group]
    Name=Previous
    Exec=exaile --previous
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Next Shortcut Group]
    Name=Next
    Exec=exaile --next
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
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Quicklist for Music Player Daemon (MPD) clients

Screenshot

Adds play/pause, previous, next and stop to the launcher of an MPD client (in this case GMPC, but this can easily be adapted for e.g. xfmpc, Sonata, Ario, Pygmy, pympd, Glurp, Gimmix, gbemol or whatever you fancy). The only requirement is that you install the package mpc (sudo apt-get install mpc).

  1. Copy the global gmpc.desktop file to your home directory:

    cp /usr/share/applications/gmpc.desktop ~/.local/share/applications
    
  2. Edit the file:

    gedit ~/.local/share/applications/gmpc.desktop
    
  3. Paste the following code to the bottom of the file:

    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Play/Pause;Previous;Next;Stop
    
    [Play/Pause Shortcut Group]
    Name=Play/Pause
    Exec=mpc toggle
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Previous Shortcut Group]
    Name=Previous
    Exec=mpc prev
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Next Shortcut Group]
    Name=Next
    Exec=mpc next
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    
    [Stop Shortcut Group]
    Name=Stop
    Exec=mpc stop
    TargetEnvironment=Unity
    

PS. For extra integration, install mpd-sound-menu.

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