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In older versions it was easy to create a launcher on my desktop all i had to do is right click on my desktop and select the create launcher option. But on 11.10 the option disappeared from the menu.. How can I get it back?

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14 Answers 14

up vote 59 down vote accepted

The old GUI dialog is still available if you still want to use this:

Using ALT+F2 type

gnome-desktop-item-edit --create-new ~/Desktop

This will launch the old GUI Dialog and create a launcher on your Desktop:

enter image description here

Prerequisites

gnome-desktop-item-edit is installed automatically if you have installed gnome-shell/gnome-fallback. It is also installed automatically if you have previously installed gnome-tweak-tool.

Alternatively, you can install the old gnome-panel without much of the bulk:

sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends gnome-panel
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12  
While this is a fantastic answer, it is really sad that Ubuntu has made it this difficult. –  djangofan Jan 30 '12 at 17:36
6  
What if you created a launcher, that launched "create launcher" would putting gnome-desktop-item-edit --create-new ~/Desktop into the command section work to do this, then you would have a desktop icon to create launchers. –  Mateo Apr 28 '12 at 4:08
    
This does not work for me. All happens is it shows a "result" but even if I hit enter or click on the icon, it doesn't run anything –  matteo Oct 25 '13 at 16:19
    
Oh, by typing it in a terminal I can see why it doesn't work: $ gnome-desktop-item-edit --create-new ~/Desktop The program 'gnome-desktop-item-edit' is currently not installed. You can install it by typing: sudo apt-get install gnome-panel –  matteo Oct 25 '13 at 16:23
    
I set icon but it isnt saving –  Jax-L Apr 29 at 7:53

You can do it manually. Make a new text-file named something.desktop and write this in there:

#!/usr/bin/env xdg-open

[Desktop Entry]
Version=1.0
Type=Application
Terminal=false
Exec=command to run here
Name=visible name here
Comment=comment here
Icon=icon path here

Dont forget to make the file executable (chmod +x something.desktop).

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1  
Thanks for your answer. Where do i need to place the file, i can place it in the .local/share/applications folder and drag and drop it into the launcher panel but that's not what i want. I want to have them on my desktop instead of the launcher panel. –  tinuz Oct 4 '11 at 14:33
    
Than put it onto your Desktop! You can place it everywhere you want. –  fnkr Oct 4 '11 at 18:02
1  
Thanks for the answer it now works .. i had to make the file executable :) –  tinuz Oct 4 '11 at 19:15
    
This works except you need to mention that the file needs to have executable permissions. –  DJTripleThreat Nov 5 '11 at 22:24
    
I like this. It's even easier if you already have a launcher on your desktop - just duplicate it and edit as necessary. –  oldmankit Aug 11 '12 at 6:35

This Is a solution to get it back on the right click menu In Gnome and Unity,

1- Install gnome-tweak-tool Install gnome-tweak-tool, if you don't already have it, In terminal paste-

sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

2- Then type the following to launch it

gnome-tweak-tool

Or use the key shortcut Alt+F2 type gnome-tweak-tool then click "Run"

3- Navigate to the "Desktop" tab on the left pictured - And turn ON
"Have file manager handle the desktop"

enter image description here

4-Source for this part: 1 Now we are going to create a Script to put on the right click menu -

Open gedit either by terminal or Alt+F2, Paste the code

gnome-desktop-item-edit ~/Desktop/ --create-new

put only this into the new text document and then save it as "Create New Launcher" no extension needed (you may need to use .sh as extension ex "Create New Launcher.sh", if you can't make it executable in the next step).

5- Now we need to make the file executable, Right click on the file go to > Properties > click Permissions tab > look for "Execute" and check "Allow executing file as program" then close out.

6- Open the file browser, go to > View > Show Hidden Files, now navigate to you home folder, and Place the file in ~/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts . Shown below -

enter image description here

7- Now we have Create new launcher on the right click menu! Right click on your desktop and go to > Scripts > Create New Launcher Then fill in the comand information for the application you want,
Shown below- enter image description here

If you forget what the app's launch command is click "Browse" then navigate to File System > usr > bin which is /usr/bin , these are the applications on your system, most should automatacally find the icon after you click "Open" , although they won't show up before.

If It dosn't show the icon when you get back to the "Create Launcher" box you can drag a icon in by finding the icon in /usr/share/icons . There are default icons in the various theme folders or specific icons in the /usr/share/icons/hicolor/scalable/apps or /usr/share/icons/hicolor/48x48/apps, or if later you want to put an icon in you can right click > properties to drag and drop the icon in.

(This part only for gnome, alt+f2 is diffrent in unity) Another way to list known applications is to hit Alt+F2 and click on the app under "Show list of known applications", you can then copy the command text for that program to paste in to
Create New Launcher.

enter image description here

All this will make it extremely easier to make custom launchers, and once setup you can make them without the terminal.

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Thank you for taking the time to write this up! I completed the steps and it's great to be able to make launchers so easily now. –  Kamil Slowikowski Jun 3 '13 at 15:38

There is cooler way:

Arronax


arronax

picture taken from source link below

to install that type in terminal (to open Ctrl+Alt+T):

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:diesch/testing 
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install arronax
nautilus -q

cooler because it has drag&drop and more functions with GUI

read more from iloveubuntu

taken from iloveubuntu

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That is a nice tool, Loved it. Thanks! –  Anwar Shah Mar 3 at 12:37

An easier way to create a launcher for a program:

If you can find the program in your dash, just click and drag the icon for the program in your dash onto your desktop or wherever else you would like it. :)

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1.create *.desktop file in /usr/share/applications/

gksudo gedit /usr/share/applications/give-any-name.desktop

2.Paste below text

[Desktop Entry]
Type=Application
Terminal=false
Icon=/path/to/icon/icon.png
Name=give-name-here
Exec=/path/to/file/executable
Categories=Utility;

Give Name= as you want.

As for Icon= and Exec=, use either a full path or a "system" name. For example, the VLC video player icon is either /usr/share/icons/hicolor/48x48/apps/vlc.png or simply vlc (without the .png extension!)

For Categories, consult the XDG Standards list

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well I cannot find the applications folder in my computer... –  user590849 Jun 2 '12 at 14:27
    
you mean there is no directory named applicationsin /usr/share/? How it can be possible? –  virpara Jun 2 '12 at 15:52
    
yes well I found it out. Thanks for the solution though. It works like a charm. –  user590849 Jun 3 '12 at 4:02
    
@virpara why respectively ? I got it working ok in another order but maybe I was missing something? –  Magpie Jul 21 '12 at 18:42
    
@Magpie you are right. Order doesn't matter here. It's my mistake. –  virpara Jul 21 '12 at 19:07

Make a file called something.desktop, open it in gedit and type:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Launcher Name
Comment=Launcher Comment
Exec=Command to Execute
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Icon=Path to Icon

Put this is /usr/share/applications and when you run it right click the app in the Unity Launcher and tick "Keep in launcher" (if you want it in the Unity Launcher), or just put it on your desktop if you want a Desktop launcher.

Put this file in ~/.local/share/applications if you want to apply this to your user.

Jurriaan has made a graphical python app to do all this for you, it can be downloaded here: http://jurschreuder.nl/UnityLaunchCreator.tar.gz

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This can be easily be achieved using nautilus-action & gnome-desktop-item-edit.

STEPS:

  • Install nautilus-action by running following command in terminal:

    sudo apt-get install nautilus-action
    
  • Launch Nautilus-Actions and create a new action.

  • Under the Action tab, check on "Display item in location context menu", then in Context label, enter this: Create Launcher.

nautilus-action-create-launcher1

  • Open now the Command tab and enter the following details:

    Label: Create Launcher

    Path: gnome-desktop-item-edit

    Parameters: --create-new %f

    Working directory: Click Browse and select your Desktop folder.

    enter image description here

  • Leave rest of the tabs as it is.Save now your command and exit:

    enter image description here

  • Restart Nautilus:

    nautilus -q
    
  • You can add shortcuts from the context menu by selecting Create Launcher

    enter image description here

    enter image description here

The shortcut is added in your current directory you right-click on

DONE!

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In 14.04 To create a shortcut on the desktop to an existing application: the simpelest solution (not found in the other answers as far as I can see) is to copy the application's desktop file to the Desktop: go to /usr/share/applications,right click on the application's desktop file >copy, go to your desktop, right click >paste. Dont't forget to make it executable, its correct icon will appear after you made it executable.

Simply drag and drop the icon from Dash on to the Desktop does not work in 14.04.

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This worked for me in 14.04: xdg-desktop-icon install /usr/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop –  Adam Monsen 12 hours ago

please be aware of this wiki page I've made, because I've noticed that questions on desktop and unity launchers are very often :) https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UnityLaunchersAndDesktopFiles

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2  
Please add a summary or steps for what the user can do, just a link is not very helpful. –  Mateo May 19 '12 at 0:22

Install "Create Launcher" from the Ubuntu Software Center. You can search this name to find it there. See also: Link - Ubuntu apps directory

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You can find a similar tweak at
http://www.techdrivein.com/2011/10/15-things-i-did-after-installing-new.html

His tweak allows you to specify different places under your 'Home' folder icon.

You could adapt this with the suggestion posted by Greg T.

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These launchers have one problem: you can't use them from the web browser, for example to attach archives to email messages or to upload files to sites like http://2shared.com/

There is an easy solution:

  1. Open a terminal window
  2. Run ln -s /destination/directory ~/Desktop/nameofshortcut

for example: ln -s /data/music ~/Desktop/good_music

This way an icon appears at the desktop, with the image of a folder with an arrow below it, that represents a shortcut, instead of the spring or rocket of the launchers.

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Thanks for the answer, i will give it a try. –  tinuz Dec 26 '11 at 18:39

I've noticed that both gnome-panel and gnome-tweak-tool need a load of dependencies, even with --no-recommends.

The method I've used so far is to choose an arbitrary icon from the Dash, such as Firefox, and drag it to the desktop. You can't drag a icon from the Launcher, it doesn't let you. So it has to be the Dash, so press the Super (or Windows) key on your keyboard to launch the Dash, make sure it's not fullscreen (toggle it with the button at the top-left), then drag any icon at all onto your desktop.

Then right-click on the new desktop icon and change the path, description, icon (and comment if you like). Then drag this new launcher to somewhere like /home/yourname/Misc/Apps and finally, from there, drag it to the Launcher.

Note : If you drag the file from the Desktop to the Launcher directly, then delete the Desktop file, the Launcher entry will stop working, even though it looks fine. I assume it makes some kind of shortcut to the original which you've just deleted.

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This doesn't work (any more?) in Ubuntu 13.04. Dragging a Launcher icon from the Dash does nothing. It just "goes back" to the Launcher. I think this used to work in previous Ubuntu versions. I don't know why they keep removing useful features. –  matteo Oct 25 '13 at 17:20
    
Yeah, you can't drag from the launcher, you must drag from the Dash - so press your Super key, to bring up Dash, then any icon will do. You'll also have to NOT have the Dash full screen (there's a size toggle at the top-left) so that you can see the Desktop to drag your icon to. Still works in 13.04. I haven't tried this in 13.10 yet though. –  Scaine Oct 28 '13 at 20:57
    
Oh I see, I thought you were talking about the launcher, because I confuse the names and the dash covered the whole screen on the machine I tried it on, so I couldn't drag anything from the dash. But I'm not sure it was fullscreen, I think it's that the screen is too small and the non-fullscreen dash fills it all. What can one do in such a case? It doesn't seem like you can resize the dash –  matteo Oct 29 '13 at 9:21
1  
Hi Matteo - sorry I didn't see this earlier. But I can't help anyway! You can't resize the Dash as such, but there is a toggle button at the top-left of the screen which should toggle between fullscreen and "netbook" mode which takes up a proportion of the screen. Perhaps that proportion has a minimum which is still too big for your screen? I'm not sure. Worth searching on this site, I suppose? –  Scaine Nov 5 '13 at 20:24

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