I use some programs where there are 2 or 3 versions on my PC, perhaps an apt installed, version, and a snap, and an appimage, usually because the developers release bug fixes. For example, LMMS and Kdenlive work differently via appimage versus apt install.

When I open up the dash using the windows key and search for an app, for example typing lm or kd, I see multiple icons, one for each app version. What I can't see is how to tell which is which. Ideally, I should be able to right click and see where that app is located. Right clicking only reveals 'New window' or 'Add to favourites'.

How can I tell which is which? I suspect they also move around in the dash, so just remembering where they are won't help.

Example: Here's a screenshot illustrating the problem with Kdenlive. There is an apt package and 2 appimage files. Each is a different version of the program, with different bugfixes and features. It's the same with LMMS, some features only work in the appimage, but the apt is more stable.

As you can see, there is no 'show details' option.

enter image description here


GNOME Shell looks for a .desktop launcher associated to an applications in some standard directories:

  • /usr/share/applications/ (standard location for applications installed system-wide)
  • ~/.local/share/applications/ (for applications installed locally, i.e. only for the current user)
  • /var/lib/snapd/desktop/applications/ (for snap applications)

If you open a .desktop launcher file with a text editor, you would find a Name= key which provides the name of the application (e.g. "Kdenlive") shown in your Activities or applications overview. There is also an Exec= key which contains the command to be used to run the application, thus it would also tell you what the source of the application is.

You can then simply rename the application as you wish by changing the Name= key to distinguish it from another one with the same name, for example change Name=Kdenlive to Name=Kdenlive (AppImage) for the one installed using AppImage. Then it would appear as 'Kdenlive (AppImage)' instead.

You can use GUI tools to achieve this perhaps more easily, for example:

  • Main Menu aka alacarte

    Install by running

    sudo apt install alacarte
  • MenuLibre

    Install by running

    sudo apt install menulibre

On my computer the apt package is the first item in the Dash and the snap package is the second item in the Dash. This is a quick way to select either the apt package or the snap package even if their icons are identical. In Ubuntu 20.04 and later many apt and snap versions of the same application have small differences in their icons.

Otherwise you can do it the long way. In Ubuntu 20.04 some snap application icons don't show their details in the software app when you right-click them and select Show Details, so try the method in the first paragraph of this answer first.

  1. Search for an application in the Dash.

  2. Right-click the application and select Show Details.

    enter image description here

  3. The application will open in the Software app. If there are two applications listed in the Software app try right-clicking the other application. If that application is a snap application it will show only one application in the list instead of two applications. In the above screenshot the System Monitor apt package icon has a black screen with a green line and the snap package icon has a black screen with a yellow line. Clicking the first System Monitor icon shows a list of apps in the Software app. Clicking the second System Monitor icon shows only one System Monitor app in the Software app.

    It works the same way with apt and snap packages that both have the same icon, for example Leafpad. It also works the same way if you select the Add to Favorites option in the above screenshot and right-click the app's icon in the Dock and select Show Details.

  4. Click the application in the Software app. This will bring up a new screen that shows information about that app including whether it is an apt application or a snap application.

  • Thanks, however: 1/2. There is no show details option 3/4 This doesn't enable me to see appimage versions. I might have 2 of those, plus snap, plus apt for some programs. – Peter F Jul 3 '20 at 19:59
  • Great - and what about the different appimage versions? – Peter F Jul 3 '20 at 20:21
  • As you can see there's a Show Details option in 18.04, and 20.04 has the same Show Details option option as 18.04, but you don't need the Show Details option because the apt application comes before the snap application in the Dash. Where are the entries located for icons listed in Show Applications?, How can I create launchers on my desktop? – karel Jul 3 '20 at 20:47
  • My 20.04 must be unique because as you might see in the screenshot, there is no 'show details' option. And if I have multiple appimages I still can't see which is which, and there appear to be no desktop files for them. – Peter F Jul 6 '20 at 11:27

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