I know how to add a running application to the dock; but how can I start an Application, which I know must be present, but I don't know the location? For instance, in a Mac, I would search the /Applications and $HOME/Applications directory and their sub directories, but Elementary OS doesn't seem to have something similar. The most promising match seems to be a file /usr/share/applications, but there don't seem to be executables in this directory.

As a concrete example, I would like to start the Pantheon file manager, which, according to what I have read, should already come with Elementary OS. I tried a

find / -name 'pantheon-*' 2>/dev/null

to locate this program, and found a few matches (for instance as a directory /usr/share/doc/pantheon-files), but nothing which would look like a suitable executable.

2 Answers 2


Yes, "files" is "pantheon files". It seems to be their strategy to fork everything and simplify it to unusability.

  • But this pantheon-files which I found, is not an executable file, but a directory; moreover, it is in the doc directory where I would expect documentation, not applications! Apr 12, 2020 at 9:04

The solution to this problem turned out to be a double reboot: After the second reboot, my desktop suddenly contained not only the dock at the bottom, but also a small kind of "status line" on the very top, which on the left had an entry saying Applications. This status line did not exist before. When clicking on it, I get a list of applications installed, including a File Manager (don't know whether this is Pantheon or not). I still don't know, which directory they are in, but at least I can now start an application from there, and then arrange to keep it in the dock.

  • Yes,Files application is Pantheon Files,io.elementary.files launches pantheon files. Most executables resides in a /bin folder, for example /usr/bin but unlike the macOS you cannot add exec into the Plank, you have to add a .desktop file, which contains information for the exec, icon etc, and most of these files are into /usr/share/applications/ and ~/.local/share/applications/ folders. Ofcourse, there can be exceptions for executable and desktop files which do not reside in these locations. Please accept your answer as a correct one in order all of us to know that it is resolved
    – Bo rislav
    Apr 14, 2020 at 20:55
  • I am a bit reluctant to accept my answer, because if it were correct, it would mean that as a general rule, you can the small topmost status line appear on the desktop by doing a reboot twice, and I doubt that Apple has intendet it in this way. Hence I hope someone would give a better answer to my question, and this I certainly will accept. An alternative would be to close the question on the grounds that the problem is not reproducible, but I don't have sufficient reputation to close questions. Apr 15, 2020 at 5:19
  • @Borislav : Forget my reference to Apple in my previous comment. Of course Elementary Linux is not related to MacOS, except that there are some similarities on the surface. But still I don't think that it is in the spirit of Linux to require reboots to get a problems such as I had resolved. Apr 15, 2020 at 5:41

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