I want to create a custom category menu. How can I do that?

For example, I want to create a category menu named "Halogen" like Accessories, Games, Graphics, Internet..etc


3 Answers 3

  1. Need to write an XML .menu file to be installed in /etc/xdg/menus/applications-merged/

    Example /etc/xdg/menus/applications-merged/hamradio.menu

    <!DOCTYPE Menu PUBLIC "-//freedesktop//DTD Menu 1.0//EN"
      </Menu> <!-- End hamradio -->
  2. A .directory file to be install in /usr/share/desktop-directories/

    Example /usr/share/desktop-directories/HamRadio.directory ([...] I removed some lines)

    [Desktop Entry]
    Name[bg]=Любителско радио
    Name[cs]=Amatérské rádio
    Name[vi]=Truyền thành tài tử
  3. Add category to Categories= in application .desktop file and should be install in /usr/share/applications/

Reference: Freedesktop Menu Specification


Based on info from http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2013/05/add-categories-to-gnome-shell-dashboard and http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Using_GNOME/Application_menus

You need to open the dconf Editor (command dc)

From there navigate to org > gnome > shell You should see an entry called "app-folder-categories". Double click on this and add/remove categories as you desire.

You can also use the gsettings tool

gsettings get org.gnome.shell.app-folder-categories

would should you the current categories and you can use the set command write a new value (which would be a comma separated list of your categories.

To place you software into the new category you will need to edit the .desktop launcher files located in /usr/share/applications/ . There should be one for each application, if you open one in your editor you should see an entry called "Categories" and you can add/remove categories (including the one you just created).

  • 1
    I actually wanted a command line method for making a deb file but what it is said in the second link isn't working Making changes in Categories in .desktop file is not making any difference Mar 18, 2014 at 10:03
  • 1
    Hi, might be worth mentioning this in the question to make it clearer that what you need is for packaging.
    – NGRhodes
    Mar 18, 2014 at 14:14
  • Everything needed is here: developer.gnome.org/AppFolders
    – yman
    Apr 8, 2021 at 13:16

This extension should do what you want: https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/1217/appfolders-manager/

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