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If I didn't know the command for a specific application, it used to be possible to create a desktop shortcut, then look at the properties. This was handy, for example, if I wanted to add a programme to the "Startup applications" list.

With Unity, that option is gone, and I have to log out and log bank in with the "Classsic" desktop to repeat the procedure. Presumably I won't be able to do even that after 10.10, so is there a better way?

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

You are making your experience way to difficult! Have a look at the system settings menu (->choose log out -> system settings at the bottom):
enter image description here

and click 'main menu'

You can also get there this way:

  1. Click on the Dash (Ubuntu logo in the top left of your screen).
  2. Enter the words "Main Menu" in the search box and hit enter.

and there is your good old menu: enter image description here

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  1. Open the Main Menu program.

  2. Select your application of choice

  3. Click Properties on the right to reveal/edit everything you want to know about the launcher.

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