I often need to create custom application launchers for games, my own shell scripts, or to launch programs with specific command-line options. As such, I have written Desktop Entry Editor to make it easy to create and edit user-defined application launchers.
Application launchers are simple text files with a
.desktop extension that
conform to the
Desktop Entry Specification.
For user-defined application launchers, the ideal location to save these desktop
entries is in
Download and Install Desktop Entry Editor
Desktop Entry Editor can be installed using the typical
configure && make && make install procedure.
Download the latest release from the Downloads Page and then run:
tar -xzf desktop-entry-editor-x.x.x.tar.gz cd desktop-entry-editor-x.x.x ./configure make
x.x.x with the version number from the file you downloaded.
Become root user (
su) and then run:
Create the Custom Application Launcher
For the sake of example, I'll create a launcher for the "Connect to Server" dialog found in the file browser.
Fire up Desktop Entry Editor. The list on the left-hand side shows all of the application launchers for which you have write permissions (it is blank if you have not yet created any custom launchers).
File > New from the menu. A Save File dialog should appear with the
Save In Folder already set to
~/.local/share/applications. Name the file
- Set 'Name' to "Connect to Server".
- Set 'Icon' to "server". Notice how the icon in the text entry changes
as you enter a valid icon name. You could also enter a full path to a
.svgfile. You can click the icon to preview how the icon renders at various sizes.
- Set 'Execute' to "nautilus-connect-server". You can click the execute icon to verify that the command can be executed.
Before you save the launcher you can validate it with
Tools > Validate.
Save the launcher with
File > Save.
You should now be able to search "connect" in the GNOME Shell Overview and find the launcher. If you want you can drag and drop it onto the dash or dock for quick access.
Note: If you do not see your launcher in the Overview, try restarting the shell with
r and hit enter
Specifying a Category for your Launcher
While the launcher shows up in an Overview search just fine, it's listed under
"Other" in the 'Applications' section of the Overview. This is because
the application menus are built based on a
in the desktop entry launcher. For the "Connect to Server", the category
Network is a good choice.
In the 'Advanced' tab of Desktop Entry Editor you can specify the category by double-clicking the column next to 'Category' and typing in "Network".
Now the launcher will show up under "Internet" in the Overview Applications tab.
For a description of all of the keys available in the 'Advanced' tab of Desktop Entry Editor, see Recognized desktop entry keys.