I learned something useful about GNOME recently: how to add my own launchers. I’m running Ubuntu on a ThinkPad that has a Windows key that Linux and Unix people call a Super key. When I tap Super, it calls up the activities overview, where I can search applications, settings, files, Unicode characters, or other things. Here’s what it looks like if I search for
Firefox and Files make sense. Not only do I not know why Remmina showed, this is the first time I’ve heard of it. Could be useful, though.
Now, the two applications I use most frequently but run from downloaded tarballs, not as proper packages, are Zotero and the Tor browser. They’re set up in
/usr/local/src/, and I have aliases in place so it’s easy to start them running with one command in a shell.
Both come with
.desktop files that I can move to my desktop and use as launchers, but it’s much nicer to be able to hit Super-letter-letter-letter-RET and fire up what I want. I can do that for gPodder, for example. Super-g-p-o-RET and it launches.
Turns out if I put the
.desktop file in
~/.local/share/applications/ then GNOME will see it and it becomes launchable. I had to tweak file paths for both, but now they work nicely. The Zotero one looks like this:
[Desktop Entry] Name=Zotero Exec=bash -c "/usr/local/src/zotero/Zotero_linux-x86_64/zotero -url %U" Icon=/usr/local/src/zotero/Zotero_linux-x86_64/chrome/icons/default/default256.png Type=Application Terminal=false
Super-z-o-RET and it launches.
I made one so I can pop up an expense spreadsheet I use regularly. Here LibreOffice points directly to a particular file.
[Desktop Entry] Name=Expenses Exec=bash -c "libreoffice ~/finance/expenses.ods" Icon=/usr/share/icons/hicolor/128x128/mimetypes/libreoffice-oasis-spreadsheet.png Type=Application
It looks like this in the activities overview:
There’s more about this in the offical Desktop Entry Specification but really as long as you have three or four lines it’ll work.