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I am running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS.

I have downloaded several programs (Eclipse, Sublime Text Editor, SmartGit) and they all come in ZIP format. Once I uncompress them I can use them, but I cannot access them via the Dash Home Menu, like I explain in this thread:

In that thread the answer was in creating a XXX.desktop file, populate it with random fields, and then move that file to a specific folder.

I now want to do the same for my Eclipe and SmartGit programs (as well as to any other programs I may end up using) so now I believe I need to learn how to create an XXX.desktop file with the correct fields and the correct instructions.

Where can I find the information to do that?

marked as duplicate by Florian Diesch, karel, Braiam, Avinash Raj, BuZZ-dEE Jan 29 '14 at 7:24

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Are launchers considered ".desktop" files? – Flame_Phoenix Jan 27 '14 at 18:52
  • 1
    Yes, technically they are just that. – Florian Diesch Jan 27 '14 at 19:03

The format of .desktop files is described in the Freedesktop Desktop Entry Specification.

Have a look at Arronax if you want a simple GUI to create and modify .desktop files.

  • Magnifier not found by Trusty's Dash though Manage Launcher (both variants) are. I've tried creating Magnifier.desktop both with 'Manage Launcher', 'Manage Launcher (Administrator)' & Arronax. root@JohnDesktop:/home/john# ls -l /usr/share/applications/Ma* -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 142 May 7 15:35 /usr/share/applications/Magnifier.desktop -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 322 Oct 1 2013 /usr/share/applications/Manage Launcher (Administrator).desktop -rw-r--r-- 1 root root 281 Oct 1 2013 /usr/share/applications/Manage Launcher.desktop – John Rose May 7 '14 at 14:40
  • I'm now using Arronax to create/modify .desktop files & my own app named Maintain Desktop Configuration Files (written in Gambas & calling the programs in the desktop-file-utils package) to install a .desktop file from one of my home folders, then the Dash can find it. However, if I use a Terminal cp command then it cannot. – John Rose May 9 '14 at 8:07

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