Custom launcher entries

Through this guide I'll show how you can add custom entries in the Gnome Launcher.

You can execute any terminal command with these actions, but I mainly use them to launch websites/webapps.
I have a custom entry called Start day that launches the Google Calendar, Gmail webapps and a news website.
You can execute any terminal code or bash script, so you can get creative and make very complex actions.

For this guide I'll show how to create a custom entry that launches the Zorin help and forum websites.

Step 1: Create .desktop file

Create a new file on the desktop called ZorinHelp.desktop (this is not the name that will show up in Gnome launcher).
It's important for step 3 that this file is created on the desktop!
Screenshot from 2021-11-12 13-50-12

Step 2: Add the code

Open the file and paste the following code:

[Desktop Entry]
Encoding=UTF-8
Name=Zorin Help
Exec=bash -c "xdg-open https://zorin.com/help/ && xdg-open https://forum.zorin.com/"
Icon=/home/hanne/Pictures/zorin.png
Type=Application
Terminal=false
  • Name is the name that will show up in Gnome launcher.
  • Exec is the terminal command that will be executed.
    xdg-open opens websites, files or folders.
    && is used to execute multiple commands.
  • Icon is the icon that will show in Gnome launcher. Make sure to pick a rectangular icon or it will be stretched and look ugly.
    Leave the rest as is.

Step 3: Make executable and launchable

To make the file executable right-click it, choose Properties, Permissions and check Execute.

To make the file launchable right-click it and choose Allow Launching.
You will only be able to make the file launchable if it's on the desktop.

Step 4: Move the file to the right spot

For the custom entry to show up is needs to be placed in ~/.local/share/applications.
If this location does not exist, go ahead and create it but first check Show Hidden Files in the file explorer to be able to see the hidden files/folders starting with a dot.

Move the file to ~/.local/share/applications
Wait a few seconds and your custom entry should show up!

9 Likes

Thank you for this awesome tutorial :heavy_heart_exclamation:
It is so colourful and well written.
I just love it :heart_eyes: :heart_eyes_cat:

3 Likes

Thanks for the kind words!

1 Like

Yes, it's a nice written and understandable guide. Your print screens are very clear my dear.

3 Likes

love it

2 Likes

Bookmarked so I can easily link to this when users ask for help with desktop entries.

5 Likes

That's in the toolkit.

3 Likes

What is in the toolkit?

1 Like

This tutorial...i added it and wanted to let everyone know

5 Likes

I completely misunderstood that...

1 Like