I do some Android development on my Ubuntu installation, because of it I need JavaJDK installed.

That's all fine, except for some reason the JavaJDK has now something like 15 different icons in my "Show Applications" list that I cannot remove.

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I, of course, don't want to uninstall any of them in fear Java might stop working completely, so just a way to remove them from "Show Applications" would be good enough for me.

How would I do that? I know these are .desktop files somewhere on my system, but I can't seem to find them.

This has been plaguing me for a while, my Show Application window is just full of garbage I can't remove

enter image description here


Application launchers shown in Activities or Applications overview are usually located either in /usr/share/applications/ (system-wide applications) or ~/.local/share/applications/ (for current user) as .desktop files.

You can hide an individual launcher from Activities or Applications overview by adding an extra


line to the corresponding .desktop file or by deleting the .desktop file altogether.

It is generally not advisable to edit the .desktop file located in /usr/share/applications/. Instead copy the file to ~/.local/share/applications/ first and make the necessary changes to the copied file.

  • Could you elaborate on why it's not advisable to edit in /usr/share/applications/ and won't copying it create duplicates? I managed to get the icons down to 6 after adding NoDisplay to all of them, but I'm not sure what to do with those last ones that are still there. Any way to see what file is responsible for each icon? – creativiii Jun 1 '19 at 13:31
  • I found the filename, it's invisible-openjdk-8-policytool.desktop but it's not in either folder. – creativiii Jun 1 '19 at 13:35
  • @creativiii It's because /usr/share/applications/ is a system directory, any changes you make to files there may be be overwritten by an update to a related package. So you may have to edit the file again and again. The directory ~/.local/share/applications/ has higher priority . Copying should not crate duplicates, but should locally override the associated .desktop files in /usr/share/applications/. – pomsky Jun 1 '19 at 13:53
  • Not sure what I did but after copying the Java .desktop files from /usr/share/applictions into ~/.local/share/applications/those last 6 icons disappeared. Thank you! – creativiii Jun 1 '19 at 13:59
  • @pomsky Your answer is technically correct. But why you do not want to use alacarte GUI? – N0rbert Jun 1 '19 at 14:07

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