I'm a Linux newbie just experimenting with various distros in a VM before I go ahead and do a physical install to HDD. I previously had Ubuntu Gnome running with Plank dock and to get my Documents and Downloads folders on the dock (The way of just dragging these folders from Home folder results in a black rectangle where the contents therein are on display - an approach I dislike) I created what I think are called launchers? Where I would open Gedit and type something like

    [Desktop Entry]
    Exec=nautilus /path/to/Documentsfolder

I saved it as .Documents.desktop (hidden) then chmod +x it in Terminal and drag it to the Plank.

I've now set up a new VM with Elementary OS and tried to recreate these steps replacing Exec=nautilus with pantheon-files. Considering the distro comes from Ubuntu I figured it would work the same but unfortunately it wasn't and I cannot get it to work.

I can get it working with Nautilus file manager just not Pantheon Files which I want use as it is the native manager for Elementary. I've also read about contract file and tried that but with no luck (wasn't even sure it was the right approach?)

Please could someone help me achieve my desired result? Thanks

3 Answers 3


or you can install alacarte :) it will help you create shortcuts :)

sudo apt-get install alacarte

and after you can find it in Applcations -> Menu


As of now you can install AppEditor from the AppCentre. Should work the same as alacarte but with elementary design.


If you want to launch Files at the particular folder you use

pantheon-files -t /path/to/folder

This launches Files with a new tab argument that takes a full path.

  • That doesn't work for me all it does is open a new Files window in the directory where I placed the .desktop folder. I have however solved my problem at last - any launcher must be placed in the /usr/share/applications folder. Thanks
    – Smush
    Feb 2, 2018 at 2:37
  • Ah okay, glad you got it working. You can also place in it in /home/<username>/.local/share/applications if you want to keep things like that only to your user account.
    – Ryan K
    Feb 2, 2018 at 2:43
  • Well I thought I got it working but I tried to do another one using the Downloads folder but this one wont work for some odd reason despite following the same process.
    – Smush
    Feb 2, 2018 at 2:57
  • It is sort of working now however I cannot seem to keep it in the dock it disappears after a system restart
    – Smush
    Feb 2, 2018 at 3:09

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