I'm currently developing an application just for myself on Ubuntu desktop using Ubuntu SDK. I've been trying to make an executable on the desktop/launcher to start the application from the desktop.

I've created an icon that can be run as an executable and on the command under Properties->Command on the launcher I've put:

qmlscene ~/file/path/main.qml

When entered into the terminal this same way, the application starts how I would like it to. But when launched from the desktop icon, only qmlscene pops up that I then have to manually follow the path to main.qml

Does anyone know how to correctly launch an application from the launcher icon?


You need to use $HOME instead of ~ (tilde).

Tilde is bash specific. In bash tilde automatically expands to the $HOME value.

It has no special meaning, except for bash. See the bash manual for further details about tilde expansion.

Your launcher Exec command should be:

Exec=bash -c "qmlscene $HOME/file/path/main.qml"

Edit: My test launcher

[Desktop Entry]
Exec=bash -c "qmlscene $HOME/foo.qml"
  • So I've created a new .desktop file with the new Exec=qmlscene $HOME/file/path/main.qml, but it still only opens to the home directory to let me manually find the .qml file. – QandA Sep 11 '14 at 14:27
  • @QandA I've updated my answer to include a bash command, please try this version – Sylvain Pineau Sep 11 '14 at 14:43
  • This instead just gives me an error: "There was an error launching the application". Does the command/exec run like it would in a terminal (except for the differences in ~ and $HOME)? – QandA Sep 11 '14 at 15:06
  • @QandA: Could you please adapt to your path my sample launcher? – Sylvain Pineau Sep 11 '14 at 15:09
  • Wow! Thank you so much! It does directly open the qml file now. I'm not sure why it works now though. Before I did not include TargetEnvironment,StartupWMClass, or StartupNotify. – QandA Sep 11 '14 at 15:21

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