I'm trying to make an icon (later in Application) for a software that I just downloaded. I unziped the .tar.gz. The unziped file contains bin and share directories. The bin directory contains the shell script for the application. (runs on terminal) I created the .desktop file as follows (in /~)

[Desktop Entry]

I'm new in ubuntu and I feel the lack of knowledge in that matter. From there it does not work yet. I get "There was an error launching the app" Does not even show the icon I selected. Can i just keep the .desktop file in ~ to see if it's working?

Thank you for your answers.

(It worked without the .sh)

  • Did you make the .desktop file executable (run chmod +x /path/to/file.desktop)? You can try to install the desktop launcher with sudo desktop-file-install /path/to/file.desktop. It will also appear in the dash as application then and have a copy of the .desktop file stored in /usr/share/applications. – Byte Commander Mar 13 '15 at 10:55
  • @ByteCommander better not store a .desktop file globally if the application is stored locally. Use ~/.local/share/applications instead. – Jacob Vlijm Mar 13 '15 at 11:09

Unless your script both starts with the Shebang (#!/bin/sh) and is marked as executable, you'll need to run sh specifying the shell script as an argument in order to execute it: this line:


Should be this line:

Exec=sh /home/ubuntu/Documents/Biologie/L3SV/S6/PPD/Copasi/bin/CopasiUI.sh
  • @JacobVlijm True, i clarified it – kos Mar 13 '15 at 11:19

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