I would like to install a chess GUI called "PyChess". Since the repo of my distribution (20.04) doesn't offer PyChes, I downloaded a .tar.gz file, extracted it, and with a simple `./pychess` (a python file in the program's folder starting the program) I can start the GUI. The trouble is, that I would like to have my application visible in the menu (when I press super+A).

I have tried moving the pychess.desktop file into /usr/share/applications and the corresponding icon into /usr/share/icons, but to no avail: the application appears, but clicking it does nothing.

The content of the pychess.desktop file is as follows:

Comment=PyChess is a fully featured, nice looking, easy to use chess client for the Gnome desktop
GenericName=Chess Game
Exec=env UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=/home/carl/PyChess-1.0.3/pychess

As you can see, I have tried using an absolute path under Exec=, where it has once been Exec=env UBUNTU_MENUPROXY= pychess.

Thanks for taking your time.

  • pychess is in the repos. sudo apt install pychess <- works here, on 20.04. Its icon is in the menu after install. Sep 7, 2021 at 9:25
  • I just checked, and you're absolutely right! However, it's using the version 0.12.2-1build1 which I assume is quite antique (the newest version is 1.0.3, as far as I know). But for last resort, yes, thanks for pointing it out.
    – Concerto
    Sep 7, 2021 at 9:33

1 Answer 1


Your command is "env". The desktop recognizes that as a valid command, and because the .desktop file is correct otherwise, will show the icon in the launcher.

All that your command does, however, is setting an environment variable.

It sets the variable UBUNTU_MENUPROXY

to: /home/carl/PyChess-1.0.3/pychess.

That may not be what you thought the command you supplied did.

Test your command first on the terminal. If it works there, it is likely (but not guaranteed) to work also from the .desktop launcher.

  • Thanks for your answer. The command (now modified: Exec= env UBUNTU_MENUPROXY= opt/PyChess.../pychess) works flawlessly in the terminal. It doesn't in the app menu. I have checked the .desktop file and there don't seem to be any mistakes. :/
    – Concerto
    Sep 7, 2021 at 14:28
  • Perhaps first remove the space before "env".
    – vanadium
    Sep 7, 2021 at 14:44
  • Good point, but no change. Anyway, thanks for your help, I'll look further for answers!
    – Concerto
    Sep 7, 2021 at 14:46
  • a simple restart did the job. Thank you for your time.
    – Concerto
    Sep 7, 2021 at 18:40

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .