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gmillar6
26-May-2015, 11:11
So im trying to make a simple shortcut. I know I can create them by manually editing .desktop files but in reality I think a Gnome GUI should provide a solution for this.

There is an application alacarte provided with SLED 12 core that doesn't seem to work. Using both gnomesu and normally.

You go in - make any change and nothing happens. Enable an application - nothing. Create a new desktop short cut - nothing

How does every one else go about this task?

Remember back in the day when you just right clicked?

mikewillis
26-May-2015, 12:58
You go in - make any change and nothing happens. Enable an application - nothing. Create a new desktop short cut - nothing

What do you mean by 'enable an application'? I don't see anything in the UI about enabling applications. I don't see anything in the UI about creating desktop shortcuts.

If I launch alacarte as myself and then click 'New Item', fill in the fields


Name: foo
Command: /usr/bin/firefox
Comment foofox
then click 'OK' then look on the Applications menu there's a new submenu called 'Other' under which is an entry called 'foo' alacarte has created this file


mike@linux-1n63:~> cat ~/.local/share/applications/alacarte-made.desktop
[Desktop Entry]
Comment=foofox
Terminal=true
Name=foo
Exec=/usr/bin/firefox
Type=Application
Icon=gnome-panel-launcher
mike@linux-1n63:~>


If I wanted to have a shortcut on the Desktop, for an existing application in the GNOME 2 days I'd have dragged/dropped it on the Desktop. But that doesn't work in GNOME 3 so I'd do


$ cd ~/Desktop
$ cp /usr/share/applications/firefox.desktop .

If it was a custom launcher, create it in alacare then move the .desktop file from ~/.local/share/applications to ~/Desktop or more likely I'd just manually construct a suitable .desktop file in ~/Desktop because I'm comfortable doing that.

I very rarely find myself wanting to create .desktop files though.

gmillar6
26-May-2015, 14:04
Hey thanks for your reply!

I see the shortcut is created in "other". As I was focused in 'Accessories' I thought the shortcut would have been created in there? Didn't expect it to appear some where else in 'other'.

Also it appears if I put in an invalid entry - nothing happends. I don't even get an error?

I love Linux for servers but I'm not cut out for these new desktops. Seem to be a step backwards to do the most basic of things. So much effort to create a shortcut right? Maybe I should try KDE?

Thanks for your solutions - I think I might just keep a template on stand by for when I need a shortcut. lol- makes sense for if-cfg-* not so much for a shortcut instantiation.

Once again - thanks for your reply.

mikewillis
26-May-2015, 14:58
I see the shortcut is created in "other". As I was focused in 'Accessories' I thought the shortcut would have been created in there? Didn't expect it to appear some where else in 'other'.

It's a reasonable expectation, but that's now how altercate works. To be honest I've never bothered with it. It feels like it maybe doesn't get much attention. With GNOME 3 there isn't even a menu with applications on by default anyway. There's an Application menu in GNOME Classic mode, but GNOME Classic Mode exists because of negative feedback about GNOME 3. GNOME 3 wasn't designed with having an application menu in mind, or icons on the Desktop. (Select 'GNOME' as the login session to see what I mean.)


If you want something to appear in the Accessories submenu you need to specify relevant Categories in to the .desktop file. And figure out what relevant Categories are. One crude way would be to look at the .desktop file for something already in Accessories, e.g. Calculator, then copy it's Categories:



mike@linux-pgyf:~> grep ^Name=Calculator /usr/share/applications/*desktop
/usr/share/applications/gnome-calculator.desktop:Name=Calculator
mike@linux-pgyf:~> grep ^Categories= /usr/share/applications/gnome-calculator.desktop
Categories=GNOME;GTK;Utility;Calculator;
mike@linux-pgyf:~>
Though clearly you don't want to copy the Calculator category. Unless you're making a custom launcher for some sort of calculator. A better way to figure it out is to look at the file /etc/xdg/menus/gnome-applications.menu In there there's a section which reads


<!-- Accessories submenu -->
<Menu>
<Name>Accessories</Name>
<Directory>Utility.directory</Directory>
<Include>
<And>
<Category>Utility</Category>
<!-- Accessibility spec must have either the Utility or Settings
category, and we display an accessibility submenu already for
the ones that do not have Settings, so don't display accessibility
applications here -->
<Not><Category>Accessibility</Category></Not>
<Not><Category>System</Category></Not>
<Not><Category>X-GNOME-Utilities</Category></Not>
</And>
</Include>
<Exclude>
blah blah cut
</Exclude>
</Menu> <!-- End Accessories -->
So from that we can see that something with category Utility will appear in the Accessories menu. (As illogical as that may sound given existence of a Utilities sub-menu.) So if I change the .desktop file created with alacarte that I posted earlier to


mike@linux-pgyf:~> cat ~/.local/share/applications/alacarte-made.desktop
[Desktop Entry]
Comment=foofox
Terminal=false
Name=foo
Exec=firefox
Type=Application
Icon=gnome-panel-launcher
Categories=Utility
mike@linux-pgyf:~>
it now shows up until the Accessories menu. As far as I can see, altercate doesn't provide a way to specify categories.





Also it appears if I put in an invalid entry - nothing happends. I don't even get an error?

Where would you put an invalid entry and what about it would make it invalid?




I love Linux for servers but I'm not cut out for these new desktops. Seem to be a step backwards to do the most basic of things. So much effort to create a shortcut right? Maybe I should try KDE?
[QUOTE=gmillar6;28029]
You could try KDE. It's not included in SLED though. It's included in openSUSE.


[QUOTE=gmillar6;28029]
Thanks for your solutions - I think I might just keep a template on stand by for when I need a shortcut. lol- makes sense for if-cfg-* not so much for a shortcut instantiation.

Once again - thanks for your reply.
BTW, what you're referring to is commonly called launchers. Or just .desktop files. They're not the same as shortcuts in Microsoft Windows. You wouldn't use them to create a shortcut on your Desktop to a file you commonly use but which lives elsewhere, like you would use a shortcut in Windows for.

Details: http://standards.freedesktop.org/desktop-entry-spec/latest/