I have some applications like eclipse, netbeans, vuze extracted to /opt/ directory. These applications don't show up while searching in unity dash. Is there a way that I can get these applications indexed?

('run a command' does remember the paths after the first time, but pressing the Super button is easier than alt+f2)


You'll need to create a .desktop-file for it and place it in either /usr/share/applications/ to make it system wide or ~/.local/share/applications/ to add it for your user only. To get an example of what the file should look like, including quicklists, see this answer: What Custom Launchers and Unity Quicklists are available?. You'll just change the name, comment, exec, icon and add optionally add some quicklist entries.

  • this question was more about how to get unity dash to index them automatically. For example,add a parent directory to be indexed or remember the path after the first time i used from 'run a command' – nariknahom Oct 16 '11 at 8:51
  • It's designed that way. Not all programs can be considered applications. For instance, the cp command would do nothing useful when called without arguments, so it wouldn't fit well with other applications. So you really do need something to tell the system that it is an application and that's what desktop files are for. There's no way for the system to "understand" this automatically. – Jo-Erlend Schinstad Oct 16 '11 at 9:14
  • How about unity dash remember the path of the executable after the first time i used from 'run a command'? – nariknahom Oct 16 '11 at 9:17
  • It wouldn't be impossible, but alt+f2 have been used for this purpose for more than a decade, so people who are looking for the feature, will expect alt+f2 and those who do not look for it, probably won't miss it either. – Jo-Erlend Schinstad Oct 16 '11 at 12:13
  • To add more to @Jo-ErlendSchinstad here is a sample .desktop file for netbeans (name it to netbeans.desktop): [Desktop Entry] Encoding=UTF-8 Name=NetBeans IDE 7.1.2 Comment=The Smarter Way to Code Exec=/bin/sh "/home/ahmad/netbeans-7.1.2/bin/netbeans" Icon=/media/Data/GUI Collection/PNG Icons/netbeans.png Categories=Application;Development;Java;IDE Version=1.0 Type=Application Terminal=0 – M. Ahmad Zafar Jul 2 '12 at 0:11

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