The objective is to show how to create desktop shortcut launcher on Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver using the default GNOME user interface.
Operating System and Software Versions
- Operating System: – Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver
- Software: – GNOME Shell 3.26.2 or higher
Privileged access to your Ubuntu System as root or via
sudo command will be required to install new software.
- # – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of
- $ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user
Other Versions of this Tutorial
In this tutorial we will be creating an example desktop shortcut launcher for Skype application installed on Ubuntu 18.04. First, this guide will show you how to create the desktop shortcut launcher manually while the later example will use application
gnome-desktop-item-edit command to simplify the desktop shortcut launcher creating process.
Before we can begin you will need the following information for any given application you wish to create shortcut for:
- Path Application Icon: /snap/skype/23/usr/share/icons/hicolor/256×256/apps/skypeforlinux.png
- Application name: Skype
- Path to executable binary: /snap/bin/skype
To obtain a full path to executable binary of any program use
which command eg.:
$ which skype /snap/bin/skype
In regards to the application icon, the choice is yours. You can either head over to
/usr/share/icons/hicolor/ directory and search for any relevant icon to use, or simply download new icon from the web.
Create desktop shortcut launcher manually
Now that we have all the necessary information, create a new file
~/Desktop directory and paste the following lines as part of the file’s content. Change the code where necessary to fit your application specific details.
$ gedit ~/Desktop/Skype.desktop
#!/usr/bin/env xdg-open [Desktop Entry] Version=1.0 Type=Application Terminal=false Exec=/snap/bin/skype Name=Skype Comment=Skype Icon=/snap/skype/23/usr/share/icons/hicolor/256x256/apps/skypeforlinux.png
Desktop Shortcut creation with gnome-desktop-item-edit
gnome-desktop-item-edit command may be missing as it is not installed by default. You can install it by opening up terminal and entering the following linux command:
$ sudo apt-get install --no-install-recommends gnome-panel
To create a new desktop shortcut launcher on Ubuntu 18.04 execute the following linux command:
$ gnome-desktop-item-edit ~/Desktop/ --create-new