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I downloaded Minecraft. I created a 'Portable Apps' directory under Home. I then right-clicked 'Minecraft.jar' and selected 'Make Link'.

I then moved the "shortcut" to the desktop.

When I try to launch Minecraft from that shortcut, I either get errors or Minecraft saves a whole bunch of random data files to the desktop.

Why can't Ubuntu create proper shortcuts like Windows? Why does it treat shortcuts like actual programs? Why isn't a "Link" a link? Why is it the actual program?

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    Read this link askubuntu.com/questions/450266/… – William Dec 28 '14 at 6:23
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    Don't complain about the system just because you don't understand how to use it. – cremefraiche Dec 28 '14 at 6:28
  • yes as @cremefraiche has stated Windows and Linux are not the same system. Ubuntu uses unity which abides by the open desktop standards, where as Windows does its own thing. – zeitue Dec 28 '14 at 6:33
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    @gyropyge and all other fanboys: I never said "Why isn't Ubuntu like Windows?", I said "Why can't Ubuntu create proper shortcuts like Windows?" Big difference there. I wouldn't have ditched an operating system (Windows) that I've been using and programming for for over 10 years in favor of Ubuntu if I wanted Ubuntu to "be like" Windows. – jay_t55 Dec 28 '14 at 7:22
  • @William You either didn't read my question or you didn't read the answer you linked to, because the top-rated answer in your link is exactly what I said I did in my question. – jay_t55 Dec 28 '14 at 7:24
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The proper way to use a portable app like this under Ubuntu requires also creating a "*.desktop" file for its executable (which is "Minecraft.jar" in this case), and putting it in one of these folders: /usr/share/applications, /usr/local/share/applications, or /home/jay/.local/share/applications (which looks like the one you would prefer).

If you want a "shortcut" for this app on your desktop as well, you should simply copy that "*.desktop" file to your desktop. It's OK to create shortcuts for files, folders, and other places, but it's not advisable to do the same for apps in this case.

Here's a sample file, which you might name as "minecraft.desktop", which is simply a plain text file given executable permissions.

[Desktop Entry]
Version=1.0
Type=Application
Name=Minecraft
Comment=Java minecraft game
Exec="/home/jay/Portable Apps/Minecraft.jar"
Icon="/home/jay/Portable Apps/Minecraft.png"
Categories=Games;
StartupNotify=true
Terminal=false

It's assumed above that your user name is jay and you also have an icon file named "Minecraft.png", otherwise you should better have one.

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    Oh I get it now! Thanks so much @sadi this worked perfectly. – jay_t55 Dec 30 '14 at 17:54
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    @jay_t55 : You're welcome, please don't be put off by people who are not patient enough towards ex-Windows users who have newly begun using Ubuntu/Linux and who naturally might have difficulties from time to time in discovering this new world with all its pros and cons ;-) – Sadi Dec 30 '14 at 18:39
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    On my system, I had to do: Exec=java -jar ./Downloads/Minecraft/Minecraft.jar where I put my Minecraft.jar file in my Downloads/Minecraft/ folder. – Machtyn Oct 31 '17 at 4:43
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Does the original 'Minecraft.jar' work correctly? I'm thinking that maybe there is a problem in how Ubuntu is handling your .jar files. If that's the problem, read this thread.

I have tried two methods to make desktop shortcuts: the right clickmake link and right clickcopy to. I mostly use copy to for the executable files usually found on /usr/share/applications. I know that copy to doesn't really create a shortcut, but it does the job for me.

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