Ubuntu Technical

Ubuntu technical problems and solutions reference, a modern cookbook.

Create custom Unity launcher

There are quite a few applications, which don’t integrate directly with Ubuntu’s Unity shell by default. They either won’t get kept in the launcher or their icon is not displayed.


gksudo gedit /usr/share/applications/<name of application>.desktop

After entering the password, gedit will open in root mode.
Paste the following into the file:

[Desktop Entry]
Version=1.0  #or whatever version the software is
Icon=<> # fill in path to logo
Name=<name of the application>
Comment=<> # any description
Exec=env UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0 <> # fill in path to the executable
Categories=Application; # add as many categories as you see fit

After filling in the required data in the file, save it and close it.

Next time you search for the application in the dash, it will be found with logo and all. You can drag&drop it on the launcher, or start it and right click then ‘Keep in launcher’.

Some of the software I have used this for are: Eclipse and Skrooge.

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6 responses to “Create custom Unity launcher

  1. yagogak November 25, 2011 at 11:59 am

    for sure unity is a revolution ……
    anyway thx for the tips

    • arzki November 25, 2011 at 12:05 pm

      I am usualy all for stability in detriment of cool new feature. But Unity has managed to solve lots of bugs since 11.04, so I think Canonical are on the right track.

  2. Pingback: Calling shell script from Unity Launcher « Ubuntu Technical

  3. Rohit April 5, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Its easier to just copy one of shortcuts (.desktop) files from usr/share/applications to the desktop & modify it to point to your application.

  4. cenkoloji October 4, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Thats really cool! Is there a way to change the background color of the icon? I see that different icons can have different colors.

  5. resham firiri August 31, 2014 at 5:12 am

    good one. ta!

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