I just installed Unity, on Ubuntu 10.10, to try it out. I've tried fiddling with a few things, but I can't work out how the applications are grouped and listed.

I mean - if I click on the Applications in the launcher, we get the list of applications installed, with the option to narrow the selection by group.

i.e. |Search box|All applications|Accessories|Games|Internet|Media|Office|System|

My question is where that list is generated - my machine is mostly for work, so the games have been uninstalled (and I get a "there are no games on this box" message, which is nice), and there's a stack of other stuff I'd like to see under a new group of "work" or something.

Obviously, a logical follow-up - how does unity know how to classify the applications into those groups? Is it the info in the .desktop links to them?


In System -> Preferences -> Main Menu you can select which menu groups should be shown, and which application should be in which menu group.

(At least in default Ubuntu, but I guess it should accessible in Unity too)

  • Nope - that takes you to the main menu editor. In "default" Ubuntu, that allows you to edit the menu, but the menu is clever in there - when you have no "games" it hides the group. The main menu on here explicitly includes a group of "programming" too, which does have stuff in it, and there's no group for it in Unity. Unity can't be using that to drive the structure, it must be somewhere else. – Grobbendonk Jan 19 '11 at 9:57
  • Have you tried adding an open application to the lanucher? Apparently this should add the application icon to the Unity menu; 'find and run the application you need, then right-click the icon in the left-pane and select "Keep in Launcher"' please see: ubuntu-utah.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1611761 If this does not help, I'm currently downloading the netbook edition, perhaps I will find it out somehow. – Pit Jan 19 '11 at 11:38
  • The launcher is working fine, it's nothing to do with that! It's after you click "applications" on the launcher - you get a list of groups of applications, and I want to know if we can edit the groups in there. Because there is no "development" group (but I do have development apps) and my "games" group is empty and I'd like to kill it – Grobbendonk Jan 19 '11 at 17:24

Unity uses .desktop files to categorize things. For the categories there's a field in each application's .desktop file, like this:


This will tell it where to categorize the application. You can find more information on that here:

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