Make a Desktop Shortcut in Ubuntu

First of all, it’s called a “Launcher” in Ubuntu, not a “shortcut.” This tutorial shows you how to make a custom launcher when the app you just worked so hard to download and install doesn’t come with one or, and I say OR, you just want to make a custom icon because … you just do. It’s how I made these:


Three things to know:

  • Aptana came with a pretty and easy-to-find icon
  • I had to find my own SeaMonkey icon and then I had to find a new one with a transparent background.
  • Firefox Developer Edition uses, by default and for whatever reason, the same icon as the regular Firefox that regular people use when they’re doing regular things.

Step #0

You may first need to install gnome-panel.

sudo apt-get install gnome-panel

Step #1

In Ye Olde Terminal, type the following:

gnome-desktop-item-edit ~/Desktop –create-new

That opens this window:


Step #2

  • Click the placeholder icon in the upper-left and navigate to your image of choice.
  • Name your little icon.
  • Command is the linux command you’d use to launch the app from the terminal. Don’t freak out–all you need to do is click Browser and navigate to the app.
  • Click OK.

You’re probably done. If you’re doing this for Firefox Developer Edition like I just did, proceed to Step #3. I had to re-do this twice.

Step #3

You can either start again at Step #1 (like I did–hence the following screenshots) or you can right-click and choose Properties.

Notice the icon is the regular old Firefox icon (you may have already noticed while completing step #2).


Click the regular icon with as much contempt as you can muster so there’s no question in your computer’s mind that you are, in no uncertain terms, displeased.

Note the path is completely different from the one you told it to follow and navigate to the correct icon.


Click OK.


About jotascript

Aiming to please. Seeking to impress.
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