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This question already has an answer here:

I have MATLAB 2016a installed on Ubuntu 16.4. I can launch MATLAB from the command line but I am unable to successfully launch it from the icon in 'Search' or if I try to create a shortcut. Does anyone have a solution that will allow me to create a working shortcut?

marked as duplicate by Zanna, Fabby, Eric Carvalho, edwinksl, Anwar Apr 16 '17 at 15:42

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Open a terminal and type:

cd ~/.local/share/applications

Then type ls in order to see a list of files in that directory. Based on your version of MATLAB, you will see a file with .desktop extension. For me, its name is matlab_r2015a_-_academic_use.desktop.

Try to open it by:

gedit matlab_r2015a_-_academic_use.desktop

Then locate a line that starts with Exec. Write -desktop at the end of that line. The result will be something similar to:

Exec=/usr/bin/matlab -desktop

Save and close the opened file. Your launcher icon should work now.

My answer is derived from the following link: My MATLAB launcher doesn't work

It might be helpful to look at it, too.

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