I create a launcher for Ingtellij Idea by writing a custom .desktop file.

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Intellij Idea
Name[en_US]=Intellij Idea

I put it to ~/.local/share/applications. I get and launcher and I added that to the unity side bar. When I launch the application another icon appear in the side bar. Which is different from other applications. There same icon represent the launched application with small bracket on left of the icon. Any one have idea why is that.

  • Isnt it usr/bin/intlellij for Exec=?
    – user224082
    May 22, 2014 at 11:55
  • Nope I extract it to my home directory. It doesn't matter r8?
    – ravinda
    May 22, 2014 at 12:01
  • Most likely the same cause as this one askubuntu.com/a/465308/72216 (third cause). To make a nice configuration, I would create a directory ~/bin, create a link to the application: ln -sf /home/sravinda/idea-IU-135.690/bin/idea /home/sravinda/bin/idea, make the application file idea.shexecutable, and simply run it by the command idea in the Exec= line. Then add the line at the end of the file's content: StartupWMClass=idea. You may have to log out /in. May 22, 2014 at 12:22

2 Answers 2


You can get Intellij to generate the icon in /usr/share/applications for you to copy to your launcher:

  1. Open a terminal, in idea/bin folder
  2. Start IntelliJ with ./idea.sh
  3. Tools -> Generate Desktop Entry enter image description here
  4. Close IntelliJ
  5. In the terminal, start nautilus as admin (gksudo nautilus)
  6. Go to /usr/share/applications
  7. Drag the new icon for IntelliJ to your launcher

Solved this by adding 'StartupWMClass=jetbrains-idea' to the desktop file. Got help from here.

BTW colleague provide a easier way of creating a unity launcher for Intellij.

  1. Go to tools -> Generate Desktop Entry from Intellj IDEA ( it crates the desktop file for you)
  2. Search in from dash, run and lock it to the launcher.

You must log in to answer this question.

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