I'm able to locate stuff with the dash home then drag it down to the launcher bar on the left of the desktop, but what if the application installed via Wine isn't found via the dash search? I've right clicked on the application in the .wine directory and found no options to create a launcher either.

  • Why strip away Ubuntu version in editing? Does the suggested methods work on all versions of Ubuntu then?
    – Sn3akyP3t3
    Commented Jun 8, 2012 at 2:46

6 Answers 6


You can create a Launcher item in /usr/share/applications. For Wine applications, say foobar.exe, you can create a foobar.desktop file like:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Foo & Bar
Exec=sh -c "cd /home/USER/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/FOOBAR_FOLDER; wine foobar.exe"

replacing USER and FOOBAR_FOLDER with appropriate values.

So you'll be able to locate your application in the Launcher by typing "FooBar".

  • Why not simply sh -c "wine /home/USER/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/FOOBAR_FOLDER/foobar.exe" ?
    – fotanus
    Commented Oct 2, 2013 at 23:15
  • How to configure Icon so it is extracted from the exe?
    – utapyngo
    Commented May 5, 2014 at 16:18
  • 5
    You can also create the launchers locally in ~/.local/share/applications
    – Wilf
    Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 11:12
  • @fotanus With the Windows application I'm creating a launcher for, not first changing directory into the directory where the .exe lives caused an error in the Windows application. When I changed to the cd into the directory method, it worked fine. It may have to do with the Windows application being confused if the working directory is outside of a possible Windows `C:` directory.
    – gene_wood
    Commented Mar 4, 2015 at 20:39
  • The program can work even without being installed in Wine, e.g. a portable installation at any location or in some cases even a program installed in Windows itself on the separate partition (tested with Civ5 installed in Win10 from Ubuntu 18.04 with Wine 3.0). The Exec line can also take the form Exec=sh -c "wine 'path/to/foobar.exe'".
    – user47206
    Commented Sep 16, 2018 at 7:49

To get a wine application into the unity bar, the following worked for me:

  • Start alacarte.
  • Go to wine - programs - ... (where your wine program is located).
  • Move the program icon to another folder (outside of wine; e.g., office).
  • Close Alacarte.

Now I could find the program in the unity dash and just move it to the unity bar.

  • I'm struggling with this method on Ubuntu 13.10. The problem is that when I launch alacarte it appears but I am unable to move (or create) any new items. Also, it doesn't seem to be installed by default, I had to do apt-get install alacarte. Commented Nov 13, 2013 at 5:45

Didn't work out of the box for me, but with a small detail I got it working. Simply give the full path for sh like:

Exec=/bin/sh -c "cd /home/USER/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/FOOBAR_FOLDER; wine foobar.exe"
  • 1
    I had to use /bin/sh -c "cd /home/USER/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/FOOBAR_FOLDER; wine foobar.exe" without the Exec= to make it work in Ubuntu 12.04.
    – twigmac
    Commented Oct 30, 2013 at 13:11

Tested with

Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn)
Foxit Reader 7

When you install an app through wine, a corresponding .desktop file is created in the /home/ash/.local/share/applications folder.


  1. Replace ash in the path above with your username.
  2. In Unity Desktop Environment, press Ctrl+h in your home directory to see the hidden file .local

Once you locate that file, go through the following steps:

  1. Right click and check Properties.
  2. Go to the Permissions tab and check Allow executing file as program.
  3. Go to the Basic tab and change the Command field as follows:

    original: C:\Program Files (x86)\Foxit Software\Foxit Reader\FoxitReader.exe

    changed: wine "C:\Program Files (x86)\Foxit Software\Foxit Reader\FoxitReader.exe"

  4. Close the Properties window. An icon of the application should come forth.
Now that we have got all the necessary changes made, we are to do either of the following two options:

  1. Drag the file to the launcher.
  2. Start the program by double-clicking. When started, a launcher icon will show up in the launcher. Right click on that and check Lock to Launcher.

We are done. Cheers ...


The best solution by some distance is to use a script such as wine-launcher-creator which will take care of creating the desktop launcher, and also do nice things like extract the necessary icons and so on. No need to fiddle around doing it by hand :)

  • why is this downvoted? anyone care to explain?
    – simon
    Commented Mar 5, 2014 at 18:04
  • great tool. I tried to create a .desktop entry manually, but it didn't work.
    – Matt
    Commented Jun 28, 2017 at 19:14
  • Handy. Except I'm trying to create launchers in /usr/share/applications so they'll be accessible to all users, and the application doesn't seem to like that. (Won't prompt for sudo access.) Still, the icon extraction is nice.
    – Wildcard
    Commented Nov 9, 2018 at 5:59

Unity Dash works like the old Gnome2 menu did with adding stuff through the "Edit Main Menu" feature but for some reason Canonical decided to make that difficult to know you can even do that.

All you do is...

  1. get the command to run the wine app (basically the same thing in this case).
  2. Press "Super" (windows key) to launch the Dash.
  3. Enter "Main Menu" in the search field and open the old Edit Main Menu app.
  4. If you are familiar with doing this in Ubuntu 10.10 or older via Gnome2 then it is the same process.
  5. If you aren't then, Select the Category (aka Unity Dash Filter) you want the item in.
  6. Choose an Icon, if you want to.
  7. Name the Dash/Launcher Item
  8. Add the Command to launch said app (what we got earlier)

Close the Main Menu app and you're done.

This is a bit more involved but this solution does not require any file editing.

Important Note - not all versions of Ubuntu come with the Main Menu app installed by default so if it is not then just go to the Ubuntu Software Center and search for "alacarte" install that and the tip above will work with no problem.

  • 1
    Entering Main Menu in the Dash showed no results.
    – max
    Commented Aug 31, 2012 at 11:40
  • I should have probably mentioned you need the Main Menu app installed if it isn't there by default...some versions of Ubuntu it is and some it isn't. "sudo apt-get install alacarte" or just install "alacarte" from the Ubuntu Software Center and that keyword will work. Commented Apr 4, 2013 at 21:16

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