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If you have an application running, you can right click on the item in the unity starter, select "Lock to Launcher", and the program will stay there even if it is closed.

The problem is that the new launcher now has the title the window had when it was locked. This is often not only the name of the program, but also includes additional information, like app.js - My Project - Visual Studio Code. It will stay even after unlocking the app.

Is it possible to rename the launcher without taking the hassle of creating a .desktop file? Where does unity saves the information of locked launchers?

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    The only 'app' icons that can be locked to the unity launcher are representative of .desktop files. The list of them per user is stored in dconf, viewed with dconf-editor > com > canonical > unity > launcher > favorites or retrieved from cli with gsettings get com.canonical.Unity.Launcher favorites
    – doug
    May 8 '15 at 22:57
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As @doug mentioned in his comment, all launchers can be found in dconf: dconf-editor com canonical unity launcher favorites or retrieve from cli with:

gsettings get com.canonical.Unity.Launcher favorites

In my case, it contained the entry application://code.desktop, and I found the code.desktop file via find in ~/.local/share/applications using:

sudo find / -name "code.desktop"

(this file was generated by unity when I locked the app).

After editing the Name property in the .desktop file I restarted unity via unity --replace and the launcher now displays the appropriate name.

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