Some programs can only be run from within their own directories. If I go to System --> Preferences --> Main Menu --> Add Item and select the file, it will not work. Similarly, if I right click on the Panel and choose "Add to Panel...", choose "Custom Application Launcher," and then point to the file, it will similarly fail. How can I add a launcher to my panel and an entry in my Main Menu that will successfully launch this kind of program?

3 Answers 3


Have you tried using a script to launch the app instead?

Something like:

cd /my/dir

Select the script instead of the file.


So what I did is this:

I created a plain text file and wrote the following bash script for a Latin translation program I use, called Words:

#! /bin/bash

cd ~/latin/latin.words/


After saving it in my home folder, I made it executable, which can be done in one of two ways. I right clicked on it, choose Properties->Permissions, and check the "Execute" box for your user name. Or I could have used the command line and entered chmod +x file.name .

Then I right clicked on the panel and chose Add to Panel, select Custom Application Launcher. I entered the name, in this case Words, and the path to the script I just wrote in the Command field. Because Words is a command line program, I selected Program in Terminal from the drop-down menu. I then clicked on the icon and selected an appropriate one and with that I was done adding it to the panel.

Next I clicked System->Preferences->Main Menu, selected the folder I wanted to put the menu launcher into, and then clicked Add Item. I then repeated the process I just performed, above.

And now I have a custom launcher that works for a program that must be run from its own directory, both on my panel and in the menu!


cd /path/to/dir/ && gksudo bin_file

That should do the trick.

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