I want to run some applications with command line options (for example, someapp --option=3), and I want to do this by opening the dash, typing the application name and clicking on the appropriate icon.

I assume that I could do this from the launcher (run the application, tick "Keep in launcher" and then tweak the .desktop file), but I don't want to have to add icons to the launcher.

So, how do I add an icon for someapp --option=3 to the dash / app lens?

I don't mind somehow adding an extra icon for someapp --option=3, and seeing both icons when I type someapp into the dash. However, it would be ideal if I could choose to remove/replace the someapp icon - in most cases I only ever want to run the app with the option applied. It would be even more ideal if additionally I could add multiple icons, one for someapp --option=3 and another for someapp --option=4 - in a few cases I want to choose between different mode.


The apps shown in the dash are .desktop files from /usr/share/applications (system wide) and ~/.local/share/applications (one user only).

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If you want to modify an existing icon you will need to edit it's .desktop file in those locations. You will need root privileges to be able to modify the system wide icon (/usr/share/applications).

If you want to add a new icon, you will need to make a new .desktop file in either location. The easiest way is to copy the old one and change it's name.

  • excellent! this will solve my problem I'm sure - for the one niggle, removing the existing icon, I'd prefer not to delete it from /usr/share/applications - is there any way to somehow suppress it? I'm guessing not, but thought I'd ask – lofidevops Dec 14 '11 at 8:24
  • Renaming it will do the trick. It's hidden by nautilus, but all those files has the .desktop extension, change it to something else and the Dash is not going to find them. You will need to do it from the command line or another file manager. – Javier Rivera Dec 14 '11 at 9:23

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