create your own launchers in Ubuntu and Unity

The advent of Unity in Ubuntu brought many good things, such as a slightly more modern design, but it also removed some. One thing that was very noticeable was the decline in performance and speed, which is normal when the user interface is more visually appealing. There’s another thing they removed, which is the ability to create launchers to put on the top bar. But, they can create launchers in Unity? Yes, you can. And it’s worth creating some.

There are some commands or actions that are worth having controlled. Some of these commands are simple, but to launch them we have to open a terminal, type it and press Enter. It may not seem complicated, but wouldn’t it be better to make a single click? A good example might be ordering xkill, Which will allow us kill any application for rebel to return to us. In this little guide we will teach you how to create our own action launchers or shortcuts.

How to Create Launchers in Ubuntu

We will be able to create the launchers thanks to the option of create .desktop files, Which are a kind of shortcuts that, in theory, should be on the desktop. We will do this as follows.

  1. We open a text editor and create an archive. We can do this by right-clicking on the desktop and selecting New Document / Empty Document.

create document


  1. We will give the document the name we want with the .desktop extension. In the example of this little guide I created the Xkill.desktop file.
  2. We open it and paste the text, where “Name” will be the name we want our launcher to have, “Icon” will be the path of the image it will have and “Exec” will be the command we want to execute:

[Desktop Entry]
Type = Application
Terminal = true
Name = xkill
Icon = / home / pablinux / Images / skull.png
Exec = xkill

create launcher

  1. Let’s save the file that we have created wherever we want. I have it saved in a folder created for some launchers I have.
  2. The next thing we need to do is right click on the file icon we created, enter the tab permits and check the box Allow the file to run as a program. You will see that the icon changes to the image that we have set as “Icon”.

Allow the file to run as a program

  1. Finally, we drag the icon to the launcher (the Unity bar), which will remain as the header image of this tutorial. Every time we touch the launcher icon, a Terminal window will open and allow us to kill any application.

This works for any other order, so it’s worth it. What do you think?

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