How to Create a Custom Application Launcher in Ubuntu 12.10



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In most instances, whenever you need an application in Ubuntu, you can install it using the Terminal or through the Synaptic Package Manager. However there are those cases that you need to install an application yourself. And in many of these instances, an application launcher will not be created - for example, when installing Sublime Text 2. In this blog post, we go through the steps of how to create an Application Launcher in Ubuntu Linux 12.10.

An easy way to create an Application Launcher in ether Ubuntu 12.10 or Ubuntu 12.04 is through the gnome panel. Once you have this installed, you can run a command that will provide an "Create Launcher" dialog box from which you can specify the launcher details. Using Unity (or Gnome), you can then search for the application and then drag it to either the Unity or Gnome Panel dock.

So let's begin.

Step 1: Install Gnome Panel

You can either do this through the Terminal, or through the Ubuntu Software Centre. Open the terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T) and enter the following command:

sudo apt-get install gnome-panel

Step 2: Launch the "Create Launcher" Dialog

Through this step, we are adding a new .desktop file to /usr/share/applications that will create out launcher. To do so, in the Terminal, type:

sudo gnome-desktop-item-edit /usr/share/applications/ --create-new

This will launch a pop-up titled: "Create Launcher". You need to enter the Name, Command that runs the application (in this case the location of the Sublime Text 2 file) and then select an icon (by clicking on the icon image) - the Comment is optional. Once finished, click the "OK" button.

Step 3: Search for your Application

Now that the launcher has been created, simply search for it. Once it appears in the Unity/Gnome dash, you can then drag the icon/Application Launcher to your Unity/Gnome Panel.

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I design & develop software that runs on the Internet. As a qualified analyst, accountant and real estate agent, I can deploy systems that improve performance.


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