I'm trying to create a launcher for an application which is not part of the App Store or repositories. I created a .desktop file in ~/.local/share/applications but when I try to run the app nothing happens.

Here is the code from the .desktop file.

#!/usr/bin/env xdg-open
[Desktop Entry]
Name=Aptana Studio 3
GenericName=Aptana Studio 3
Exec=~/.local/share/Apatana_Studio_3/./AptanaStudio3 %U

So what I'm I missing?


1 Answer 1


I'm not sure how you are trying to launch the app, from slingshot, from the command line?

!/usr/bin/env xdg-open is only needed if you are trying to launch from the command line, and should have # sign in front #!/usr/bin/env xdg-open This is old though. Used to you could chmod +x on the .desktop file and run ./nameof.desktop, but now that will just open the .desktop in your text editor. You can ditch that line.

It looks like the problem is your command line

Exec=~/.local/share/Apatana_Studio_3/./AptanaStudio3 %U

./AptanaStudio3 is how you would run the app if you were in the terminal so:

cd /.local/share/Apatana_Studio_3/


Try: ~/.local/share/Apatana_Studio_3/AptanaStudio3 %U

Or try the easy way to do this. Install something like alacarte.

sudo apt-get install alacarte

It shows up in Slingshot as Main Menu. Chose a category and create a new item for your app. You can click browse next to the command line and use the file browser dialog to select AptanaStudio3. You will need to right click in the file browser dialog and chose "show hidden files" since the app is in a hidden file. Set the name and change the icon and you are set.

  • alacarte causing Wingpanel to crash on search. Seems that it can't be undone.
    – totikom
    Dec 17, 2017 at 17:09

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