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I'm a brand new, first-time Ubuntu user, so any suggestions or info requests will need to be very specific and step-by-step. I'm not afraid of the terminal or anything else; I just don't usually know what to do without being explicitly told.

I have the 64-bit version of 11.04, from the alternate installer, and am dual-booting with Windows 7. I'm using the 'Ubuntu Classic (no effects)' desktop option.

That said...

Manually installed (from tar.bz2, as opposed to .deb/Synaptic) programs (or possibly only manually installed Mozilla programs; I haven't tested other programs) don't seem to display their icons in the title bar, nor in the task bar. An icon is shown, but it's only the default 'there is no icon' one. Currently, I'm having this problem with SeaMonkey and Thunderbird.

  • SeaMonkey was originally installed through Synaptic (I can't remember if the icon showed then, but I don't believe it did.), then later uninstalled so I could manually install a non-buggy version, and has since been upgraded to the current 2.4.1.
  • Thunderbird was manually installed from the start, first the most recent version, then later downgraded to an older version. Since then, I have manually installed several versions, including the same one available through Synaptic, and also installed Thunderbird through Synaptic. Currently, I have both the Synaptic and a fairly recent 6.something version installed, in different locations. Only the Synaptic install shows the Thunderbird icon. None of the other versions ever have, whether newer or older, so it's clearly not a version issue.

After some time spent with Google, I found /chrome/icons/default in each program's folder, and all the necessary window icons seem to be there, but it doesn't look like the programs can find them. Why not? How can I fix this?

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Yes, Untarred software don't have an icon because they don't retrieve the icon from your icon theme, they are not (installed) unless they are provided with one, think of them as Windows portable applications. Also if installed through Synaptic/Apt-get or the Software Center your current theme may not have the icon for that given application. –  Uri Herrera Oct 3 '11 at 5:25
    
See this: askubuntu.com/questions/34880/… –  Uri Herrera Oct 3 '11 at 5:26
    
And This :askubuntu.com/questions/51234/… –  Uri Herrera Oct 3 '11 at 5:26
    
@Uri "they are not (installed) unless they are provided with one" -- Perhaps I'm not understanding what you mean, but it seems to me that the applications are provided with icons. A whole big list of the necessary icons, even, in the mentioned /chrome/icons/default of each program's folder. I'm also not clear how those other questions relate to my problem. One seems to talk about directory hierarchy, the other shows how to select an icon for the menu -- which I already have, one from /chrome/..., the other from /usr/share/pixmaps. Yet, no icons are found when the programs run. –  Birchle Oct 3 '11 at 5:48
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1 Answer 1

Compiling programs from source normally doesn't add shortcuts and links for those programs on your user UI, mostly they will create a link to the compiled binary in /usr/bin so that the user can type the program's command on the terminal and start using it right away but icons, shortcuts on desktop, nice menu links are not included unless the program was made to do so after you compiled it.

The icons probably will be on the folder from the compiled application, its part of the source code most of the times and will be copied, but that doesn't mean that your install used to to create shortcuts and menus.

Packages that come from apt or software center are designed to created such links and shortcuts using the icons supplied on the program of a theme icon for the application.

Think of packages (deb, rpm, etc) as archives with instructions on where and how to create links, place configuration files, modify other files for integration. In Windows if you want to use a software you have to use and installer that will do the same (ie: if you install firefox in Windows) for you. The other option is to use compiled binaries without an installer, that means that the program is there, it will work perfectly but no links, shortcuts, integration will be done for you automatic.

An example of this is firefox and firefox portable, the first you download, run the installer that will create the files and links and will integrate the program with your OS, the 2nd will open, run, let you use the full program with no limitations but there is no links, no integration, no links, etc, you need to run the compiled binary and that's it.

So, if you want to have integration in to your Ubuntu desktop you need to use the pre-compiled, assembled packages (deb files, or installer files for Ubuntu/Debian), either by downloading them or using apt or you do everything by hand using source or compiled binaries for your system. The easiest and most common is to use the .deb files since they do all the nasty work for you.

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I didn't compile anything, only extracted it. That said, if it's just a shortage of links causing this problem, where/how should I be adding links, so I can fix it? Or do you mean that when it was compiled (by mozilla) the links weren't added then? If that's the case, it seems like there would be a massive problem with missing icons, since no one would have them properly linked -- but I can't find any other reference to this issue. –  Birchle Oct 3 '11 at 16:48
    
Think of packages (deb, rpm, etc) as archives with instructions on where and how to create links, place configuration files, modify other files for integration. In Windows if you want to use a software you have to use and installer that will do the same (ie: if you install firefox in Windows) for you. The other option is to use compiled binaries without an installer, that means that the program is there, it will work perfectly but no links, shortcuts, integration will be done for you automatic. –  Bruno Pereira Oct 3 '11 at 17:33
    
An example of this is firefox and firefox portable, the first you download, run the installer that will create the files and links and will integrate the program with your OS, the 2nd will open, run, let you use the full program with no limitations but there is no links, no integration, no links, etc, you need to run the compiled binary and that's it. –  Bruno Pereira Oct 3 '11 at 17:35
    
So, if you want to have integration in to your Ubuntu desktop you need to use the pre-compiled, assembled packages (deb files, or installer files for Ubuntu/Debian), either by downloading them or using apt or you do everything by hand using source or compiled binaries for your system. The easiest and most common is to use the .deb files since they do all the nasty work for you. –  Bruno Pereira Oct 3 '11 at 17:38
    
That makes some sense. The part I'm not understanding, though, is that several people I know have the latest versions of both programs installed, via extracted tar.bz2's (There isn't a .deb option on either the Seamonkey or Thunderbird pages.), no synaptic or .deb or apt-get involved, and the programs' icons show up just fine for them. So why don't they for me? –  Birchle Oct 3 '11 at 18:20
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