How are programs executed in Ubuntu?

Jim Byrnes jf_byrnes at
Sat Jan 30 15:01:00 UTC 2016

On 01/30/2016 01:48 AM, Colin Law wrote:
> On 29 January 2016 at 22:16, Jim Byrnes <jf_byrnes at> wrote:
>> On 01/29/2016 03:45 PM, Colin Law wrote:
>>> On 29 January 2016 at 21:00, Jim Byrnes <jf_byrnes at> wrote:
>>>> ...
>>>> After much stumbling around I finally got this to work. The first thing I
>>>> did wrong was to create a file called myprog.desktop based on the link
>>>> you
>>>> gave above and drop it in /local/share/applications. That did not work.
>>>> Then I tried using the utilities mentioned in the link above, but they
>>>> could
>>>> not find the file even I was looking at it in Nemo.  Finally I used ls in
>>>> a
>>>> terminal and it showed up as myprog.desktop.desktop. Apparently that
>>>> location adds .desktop by default but Nemo did not display it.
>>>> Once I fixed that the desktop utilities put it in the proper location and
>>>> I
>>>> was able to put it on the launcher.
>>> Just checking that you realise that the proper place is
>>> .local/share/applications.  Installed applications put their launchers
>>> in /usr/share/applications but generally you should put diy ones in
>>> .local/share/applications.
>>> Colin
>> I'll keep that in mind.  There was some desktop file utilities mentioned in
>> the link you provided. One of them was an install utility and it put my diy
>> one in /usr/share/applications.
> If you want a shortcut that is accessible to all users then put it
> /usr/share/applications.  If it just for one user then put it in the
> users .local/share/applications.  In particular if you want to modify
> one of the standard desktop files for some reason (I know that is not
> what you are doing) then don't edit the one in /usr/share/applications
> as it may be overwritten if the application is updated.  Instead copy
> it to .local/... and change the name of the file and the Name field,
> as the Name is what appears when you hover over the launcher, that way
> it can be differentiated from the original.
> Colin

Some more good advice, thanks.
I am the only user so users is not a consideration. When I first started 
working on this I put it in .local/share/applications, but because of 
the mistakes I mentioned above it did not work. When I used the utility, 
it put it in /usr/share/applications.

When I get some time I will move it to .local/share/applications.

Regards,  Jim

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