I installed Steam on Ubuntu 16.04. When i download and install Games and Software from my library, steam offers to create a startmenue-shortcut, so that the games show up in the dash. I guess, steam has to create and store .desktop files someware, right? My problem is, that i can't grep them in my filesystem, but i'd really like to mess with them. Any Ideas what i could try? Is there any other way of adding icons to the dash that I don't know about?


Go to /home/$USER/.local/Steam/steamapps/common... and you will find a directory for each game installed with its executable in it.

To add any game to the Dash:

1. Open gedit and write:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=This is my comment

I believe there won't be any icon for the game to use in the mentioned folder, so you can either use none or just download any picture from the Internet and specify the absolute path and name.

2. Save it as GAME_NAME.desktop in the same game directory ( or anywhere else), right click on it: Properties > Permissions > Allow executing as a program

3. If you want it in your Launcher, simply grab the .desktop file and drag it to the Launcher.

Source and further information:


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I know an answer has already be accepted but it doesn't seem to apply in all cases. On my machine, it doesn't.

There is no folder Steam in ~/.local on my computer. Instead, Steam stores its desktop files in the folder ~/.local/share/applications which is commonly used for this purpose. Any files in this folder automatically show up in the dash and can be added to the launcher by finding them via the dash and then dragging them over to the launcher. They can be moved around by long-clicking then then dragging and dropping them. Having to long-click first can be substituted by dragging them to the right which is slightly faster to do.

In that folder, there (among others) is the file Team Fortress 2.desktop containing this:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Team Fortress 2
Comment=Play this game on Steam
Exec=steam steam://rungameid/440

Quite evidently a desktop file created by Steam.

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  • This is interesting, notice the different Exec line. Thanks for sharing. Sadly, I can only accept one answer... – NeoTheThird Mar 26 '17 at 14:58
  • Due to this line, we can be pretty sure I didn't create that file myself but Steam created it automatically. Due to the comment, too, of course. – UTF-8 Mar 26 '17 at 16:24

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