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Looking for a utility that allows me insert an item into the list of applications that GNOME knows about.

For example:

I have downloaded Eclipse EE (I have some very special plugins that I need to work with, and those plugins don't "like" the version available in the default repository). I'm using GNOME 3, on Ubuntu 11.10. So I want to execute Eclipse w/o opening a terminal and running it.

It must be something very simple.

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png images does not work, try jpg – user271520 Apr 20 '14 at 17:21
up vote 43 down vote accepted

You can use Main Menu for this. If not, install it first:

sudo apt-get install alacarte

1. Open Main Menu

2. See the example

Main Menu

After that you can call your applications with name: "command_of_application".

Edit: I missed that you had asked for applications in your home directory. If so, command must be the full path of that application.

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That's what I'm looking for. – Shaftoe2702 Nov 15 '11 at 20:32
Ok, if so just accept it. So, your question won't be seen as unanswered. – heartsmagic Nov 15 '11 at 20:36

The applications launchers Gnome knows about are .desktop files in /usr/share/applications, and ~/.local/share/applications. You can create custom launchers for whatever is in your home folder, by either manually creating and editing a custom .desktop file, or by using Alacarte, the old Gnome menu editor.

The Gnome desktop file documentation can be of help:

The custom launcher is just a text file, named, for example, EclipseEE.desktop, with the following content:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Eclipse EE
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first link is broken – nispio Aug 11 '15 at 23:59

(Repost from the original OP)

This is neat trick pointed out elsewhere:

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

Now, I have an Icon. That was a nice feature to have bound to the context menu, but alas, I do not see it.

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I like Jorge's simple gnome-desktop-item-edit solution. However, if I place the .desktop file on ~/Desktop/ it does not show up as an application but only as a file in the gnome menu. So I do:

sudo gnome-desktop-item-edit /usr/share/applications/ --create-new

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