I have a third-party application, (in this case, Oracle SQLDeveloper which is a java application), that I installed manually (i.e. not through apt). When I ran it, I selected to "Lock to Launcher" so I can easily launch it again. The icon works to launch the application, but the icon is a generic grey question mark icon. I can download various other icons that would be more appropriate, but I don't see any way to customize just a single icon in the launcher.

  • please look inside your ~/.local/share/applications folder to see if there is a representing .desktop file of the application. (If not, look in /usr/share/applications) If so, could you open it with gedit (drag it over a gedit window) and post the line starting with Icon= (or better: the whole file). There can be various reasons why an icon does not appear properly in the launcher. – Jacob Vlijm Dec 3 '14 at 19:21
  • [Desktop Entry] Encoding=UTF-8 Version=1.0 Type=Application Name=Oracle SQL Developer Icon=.png Path=/opt/sqldeveloper/sqldeveloper/bin Exec=/usr/lib/jvm/java-7-openjdk-amd64/bin/java ..... – Aphoid Dec 3 '14 at 21:54
  • Should I be able to directly edit the "Icon=.png" line? If so, how do I update it and/or make it stick? – Aphoid Dec 3 '14 at 21:56

From your comment, it turns out that there is no icon defined in the .desktop file. You can use an icon "of your choice", and edit the line:




You will possibly have to log out and back in to make the change appear.


If you found your .desktop file in /usr/share/applications, it is good practice to first copy it to ~/.local/share/applications and edit the local copy. After log out / in, the local version will "overrule" the one in /usr/share/applications.

Both Dash and the Unity Launcher will then use the local one.


You might want to look inside the application's directory (which seems to be /opt/sqldeveloper) if there is not already an appropriate icon to use. /opt is a typical directory where self-contained "all in one" applications can be located.

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  • It turned out that I had it in .local and when I updated the Icon=/opt/sqldeveloper/icon.png, it showed up instantly without logging out. – Aphoid Dec 3 '14 at 22:31

I use a program called "Main Menu" or "Alacarte"

To Install:

sudo apt-get install alacarte

Then open Main Menu through the dash.

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