fresh off the boat

David M. Carney carney1979 at
Sat Mar 12 17:38:58 UTC 2005

On Sat, 2005-03-12 at 11:59 -0500, Tab Gilbert wrote:
> Just starting but can not figure out (find) how to make make an
> application run (show up) on the menu.
> from a gnome-terminal type:
> sudo apt-get install bittorrent
> So it says I have it installed but I can not find where it is located.
>  Got a folder to appear under the applications menu but get confused
> after that.  I go to Create Laucher and then can not find bittorrent
> and do not know the proper command.
> Did the:
> applications:////
> which did not work.  
> Everything I have seen in the various help/documentation sections just
> seems to assume I know something which is not the case.  I am missing
> this small vital link.
> Goal:
> Install and run bittorrent to get the livecd
> figure out how to do a checksum cause I have done 3 direct downloads
> of hoary and everyone of them shows a bad checksum during install.
> Sorry for jumping around (still learning how to format an inquiry) 
> and asking a very basic question but I getting frustrated with
> something that should be rather simple.
> Next:
> can see hp psc 2210 printer but spits out  page with !PS_Adobe-3.0
> etc. at top and then keeps throwing out blank pages uptil empty.
> Thank you to everyone involved in this operation,  
> ---
> Warty
> Gateway E-2000
Unfortunately, there is no easy "gui" way to add files to the desktop

Gnome has switched to Open Desktop standards. Entries in the panel menus
is completely different. It is not impossible to do, just something new
to learn until a gui app is written to make it easier.

Most of the entries are kept in /usr/share/applications. These are in
the form of <application name>.desktop files. Note that <application
name> doesn't actually have th be the name of the app. Fun, already,

Open a terminal in the above folder and list the files with "ls -la" (no

You will see something like:

-rw-r--r--    1 root root   210 2004-12-13 23:01 wxcas.desktop
-rw-r--r--    1 root root   410 2005-02-10 05:08 xchat.desktop
-rw-r--r--    1 root root  3426 2004-12-22 12:39 XMMS.desktop
-rw-r--r--    1 root root   146 2005-01-19 05:08 xpdf.desktop
-rw-r--r--    1 root root  1118 2004-10-29 08:07 xsane.desktop
-rw-r--r--    1 root root  5008 2005-02-23 19:08 yelp.desktop
david at n1zhe:/usr/share/applications$

NOTE: I only listed the last few entries from mine for brevity.

Lets open the freeguide.desktop file just to see how it all works. This
is one I created and it has just the minimum to get it all to work. Use
a good text editor.

...and you will see:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Download a TV guide from the Internet and view it
GenericName=TV Guide

This file assumes a few things. It assumes the executable is in you path
and the icon is in /usr/share/pixmaps. If not, put the full path in.

You can open some others and take a quick peek and see many more things.
When you do, remember that I'm using U.S. English only so I did not need
all the names and comments, etc, in the other languages.

Since I started "rolling" my own, I discovered that you can modify just
your own (not system wide) menus by creating the *.desktop files in
~/.local/share/applications. This has the benefit that you don't have to
use root access to create or modify the files.

There are many options you can use to create these files. Look at for more info on the *.desktop files.

Best of luck!


Registered Linux User #297958

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