Howto create Application launcher and add icon to Unity in Ubuntu 13.04 / 12.10 / 12.04

To create a application launcher and add that launcher to Unity in Ubuntu 13.04 / Ubuntu 12.10 / 12.04, is easy with gnome panel package. Using gnome panel, you can create a application launcher on the desktop or wherever you like to create in Ubuntu 12.10 / 12.04 / 11.10 / 13.04, then you can add that to unity launcher.

To install gnome panel in Ubuntu 13.04 / 12.10 / 12.04

Run the following command in the terminal(ctrl+alt+t) and issue the password for the user when prompted.

sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends gnome-panel

Create Application Launcher in Ubuntu 13.04 / 12.10 / 12.04 / 11.10

After installing the gnome panel, use the below command to create a launcher in Applications directory under “/usr/share/”.

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

Once you execute the above command, create launcher application will be opened. Check the screen shot below.

Here I am creating launcher for uTorrent, the same way you can create launcher for any application.

In Type field Application will be a default value, if not select Application from drop-down menu. If your creating launcher for application which has no gui, that which runs in terminal like VIM editor then you need to select Application in Terminal.

In Name field type the Application name, Here its uTorrent.

In Command field type the executable command which open your application, For example, If you like to have launcher for gedit then in command field type gedit(its already there so you don’t have to do for gedit).

For uTorrent I am using the below command in the command field.

utserver -settingspath /opt/utorrent-server-v3_0/ &

Comment field is optional.

After filling all the required field, set icon for the application launcher. Just click on the small box on the top left side near name field and chose a image for it.

That’s it. Application Launcher is created for your application. By creating application launcher, your making the application available in the Dash search results.

To add the Launcher to Unity Launcher

Go to the Dash and type the Application name. From the dash result drag your application and drop it in Unity.

Hope this will be helpful for you!!!

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  • Yo Mama

    i dowloaded utorrent and i use it on mozilla i d not know how to use it on theiror where it’s directory is

    • Hi Yo Mama,

      Do you want to know where utorrent download saves the file?

  • PuNkstErHD

    How do you delete it if after I have made a mistake of choosing the icon that was not supposed to be?

    • anonymous

      Just delete .desktop file in /usr/share/applications/

      • pop

        I found the file, but am having trouble deleting it. How do you delete such a file?

        • 2na

          Same here, found the file, but can’t delete it.
          If you know how to delete pls post

          • smokkam

            Open a terminal, go to the dirctory using “cd /usr/share/applications/” command, then “sudo rm your_file.desktop”

        • Ashish Singh

          from /usr/share/application > sudo rm Matlab.desktop

    • Very helpful your guide! One guestion : the application is created on root , any idea how to delete it cause as user i do not have permission to do it

    • ActionParsnip

      Its nothing more than a text file, just open it with gedit and make the changes.

  • burak

    hi, thx but i cant get the application working after creating the icon with your command, nothing is happening after i click on it or press open with right click.

    • ricky tan

      same thing here … i get nothing

  • There’s a line up there I can’t POSSIBLY read: the line about invoke gnome panel. It’s about 0.05 thick. Not only can I not see any letters there, I’m not sure I can see anything BUT THE BOX in there.

    I’m on chrome…what’s the deal?

  • the idiot

    why did you use
    –no-install-recommends ?
    is it necessary in this case, or do you just prefer to do that?

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  • Ricardo Miranda

    Very helpfull.

  • Dallas

    If this is not working, you may have the following error message:

    (gnome-desktop-item-edit:14963): IBUS-WARNING **: The owner of /home/user/.config/ibus/bus is not root!

    This is probably because the application command you’re linking to is in your own home directory. Try to install applications into /usr/bin/app or somewhere appropriate and try again.

    • Jaime Wissner

      What’s appropriate, because what you suggested didn’t work.

  • Ashish Maheshwari

    Thanks for such an informative post.
    Can you please tell where to get that uTorrent icon?