In earlier versions of Ubuntu, user-created launchers for the top panel were stored in the directory ~/.gnome2/panel2.d/default/launchers. This is no longer the case in the current versions. The Official Ubuntu Documentation at present lacks even the most basic information on this topic (the HowToAddaLauncher page "needs updating to include the latest versions of Ubuntu").

In Ubuntu 14.04 running Gnome Metacity Flashback, where are the files for the user-created panel lauchers located? Can these simply be backed up and copied into the appropriate directory of a new installation of the OS to provide a customized top panel upon reboot?


Custom application launchers are stored in ~/.config/gnome-panel/launchers. You can backup these launchers, but they won't be automatically added to panel if you copy launchers in that directory. You can drag&drop these launchers to panel.

Otherwise panel settings are stored in gsettings/dconf under /org/gnome/gnome-panel. I don't know if there is easy way to backup/restore only gnome-panel settings.

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  • Thank you for your suggestions. Is there a command-line way to add the launchers in ~/.config/gnome-panel/launchers to the panel? To drag and drop you have to open up the Files application, enable "show hidden files," hunt through numerous directories, etc. I am unable to corroborate your second paragraph. There is no directory /org; indeed the command "sudo find . -type d -name gnome-panel" yields only the ~/.config subdirectories in users' homes and subdirectories of /usr/share and /usr/lib. – Maneesh Patel Jul 13 '15 at 21:19
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    (The aforementioned "sudo find ..." run from the root directory, of course. But I guess your second paragraph means that upon running dconf-editor, under org-->gnome-->gnome-panel-->layout-->objects, one can find a reference of sorts to each panel launcher.) Anyhow, I'm inclined to accept your response as a solution. To do what I sought to do in my original question, run a cron job to back up the launchers subdirectory, and after copying it to a new installation run nautilus ~/.config/gnome-panel/launchers, select launchers (en masse if desired), and drag to panel. – Maneesh Patel Jul 14 '15 at 0:42

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