Games - downloading but not appearing

Eric Bradshaw ericbradshaw at
Fri Apr 10 13:09:11 UTC 2015

Eric: I think others on the Lubuntu Users List might benefit from this exchange.
It won't be quite the same as a couple of the emails between myself and Steven
Duckworth, as bold characters and screen shots don't show up on this list, but
hopefully people can follow along and see a common mistake made with desktop
entry files (or lack thereof). The first couple were on the list...

Steven: Having looked through some of the old arcade games available from Lubuntu
Software Centre, I have successfully downloaded 'Open Invaders' (a good
remake of the classic Space Invaders), plus a couple of chess games,
etc.... However, on downloading 'Pong2' I can't find it. It appears as a
download in the Software Centre and in Synaptic Package Manager, but
doesn't appear on the Lubuntu menu drop-up list under 'Games'.
Does anyone know where it may be accessed, or how to open it?


Eric: Steve,

Usually,to find any "lost" apps (not just games), you'd go to /Menu -->
Accessories --> LXTerminal/ (or Ctrl+T) and type:*gksu pcmanfm*||. View
as [if necessary, change from Places to] Directory Tree and navigate to
/usr/share/applications. There would normally be a shortcut to whatever
app you're looking for here.

In this case though - you're right. It doesn't exist (I downloaded it
from Synaptic just to see). So, you can create a shortcut yourself. You
said you downloaded a couple of chess games, so I'll use Dreamchess (the
only chess game I have already) to copy and change.

While you're in /usr/share/applications, right-click Dreamchess (or some
other chess game that appears in the menu) and open with Leafpad.
Immediately save it as pong2.desktop.

The following is step-by-step everything to change. Or, skip to the end
and just copy and paste what's there.

Delete the first line (if there is one) above [Desktop Entry] as this is
unnecessary. Change the line Name=Dreamchess to Name=Pong2 and the line
below it from GenericName=Chess game to GenericName=Pong game. Now,
either delete GenericName[fr]=Jeu d'?chec (unless you're comfortable
speaking French) as this too is unnecessary. Change Comment=a 3D chess game
to Comment=a pong game. Change Icon=dreamchess to
Icon=/usr/share/pong2/background.png (Pong2 also doesn't come with an
icon, so we're using the background image that came with it here).
Change Exec=dreamchess to Exec=/usr/games/pong2 (because that's where
this game lives) and finally change Categories=Game;BoardGame; to
Categories=Game;ArcadeGame; Save (close all the little triangles if you
feel the need), change view to Places if that's how you're comfortable
viewing files and close ("X" out of) the File Manager. Close ("X" out
of) LXTerminal.

You should now see Pong2 under Games in the menu.

The pong2.desktop entry file (shortcut):

[Desktop Entry]
GenericName=Pong game
Comment=a pong game

Eric Bradshaw

Steven: Hi Eric,

Thanks for your advice, which I tried but didn't quite succeed with.

I got this:

[screen shot]
The picture not shown here is of another chess game (glchess) shortcut 
that does show in the menu. The error shown was "Can't open file to write"

Steven: but perhaps I had an incorrect input or something.

Eric: "Can't open file to write" was from navigating to 
*usr/share/applications/glchess.desktop* and attempting to save it 
/without being root/. In order to navigate with the File Manager 
(PCManFM) as root, you go to a Terminal first *Menu --> Accessories --> 
LXTerminal* (or Ctrl+T) and type *gksu pcmanfm*. The File Manager window 
that opens at that point, looks the same, but allows you to edit 
everything (so be careful) because you are root.

You can also not bother with changing an existing desktop entry file, 
but just make your own. After opening the File Manager with *gksu 
pcmanfm*, view the files as a *Directory Tree* and navigate to 
*/usr/share/applications*. Go to *File --> Create New --> Empty File* 
(or Ctrl+Alt+N), name it pong2.desktop, Save it, right-click it, open it 
with Leafpad and paste the following:

[Desktop Entry]
GenericName=Pong game
Comment=a pong game

Save it again, "X" out of it and you should now see Pong2 under Games in 
the menu. If you don't; type (or copy and paste) *lxpanelctl restart* in 
LXTerminal, or log out and log back in.

Now the next one I also installed with Synaptic...

Steven: there is a game called airstrike which I downloaded as well, but 
can't find it to make it run... it's in synaptic as a "manual install"

[screen shot]
This is of the game Airstrike in Synaptic

Eric: I had no problem with Airstrike. It appeared in the menu for me 
and runs fine from it's desktop menu entry (shortcut). It was also 
installed in /usr/games/ via Synaptic Package Manager. If you are still 
having trouble with this one, here is the desktop menu entry called 
*airstrike.desktop* it installed for me in */usr/share/applications*:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Dogfight an enemy plane
Comment[de_DE]=Kämpfe gegen ein feindliches Flugzeug

but if that isn't working for you, change the Exec and Icon lines to the 
full path to each file (and I removed the German language comment too) 
so it becomes:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Dogfight an enemy plane

Eric Bradshaw

Thank You,
God Bless,

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