Add menu entry in ubuntu

Sometimes, you might want to download a program without installing it system wide. Or, you might not have an installer, but still, you would like to have a shortcut in the application menu.

To achieve that, here is what needed to be done:

  1. Create a desktop entry of the application you want to insert
  2. Copy this entry to ~/.local/share/applications.

The second part is pretty simple. but how to create a desktop entry file? Here:

Desktop entries are actually simple text file that follow some guidelines.

  1. The file postfix is "desktop" (same as txt for text file and so on)
  2. The file contains several key-value pairs, most important are Exec, Terminal and probably Icon.
  3. You don't have to create it from scratch. Here is a desktop entry for robomongo I've created. Note that you need to remove the txt postfix part for it to work. You should change the other parameters as well (Name for example or comment).

If you wish to copy a shortcut that  was installed through a debian package to your desktop, these are usually located in /usr/share/applications.




  1. robomongo.desktop

Dealing with ubuntu 14.04

Dealing with the new version from Canonical seems to have it’s own share of issues.

Here, I’m trying to get some of them clear, as these questions keep popping up in forums.

  1. Key combinations stop working. Most known are the language input combo (defaulted to super+ctrl) and the Ctrl+space for the auto completion if you are programming in any current IDE. There are two tools you can use for these problems:  the first is dconf-editor.
    sudo apt install dconf-editor

    This will enable you to get rid of the Ctrl+space binding, which you match to the image below:Screenshot from 2014-05-08 14:06:38If your triggers are not empty – please make them so. and do not use root to run this, this is a user config editor. This will return Ctrl+space to all the IDE’s.

  2. For the Super+space issue, we have yet another tool. This one goes by the name of gnome-tweak-tool and you can set the typing option there. usually just set these up (to anything) solves this issue:Screenshot from 2014-05-08 14:14:59Another great tool is the unity-tweak-tool which allows you to change system fonts, themes and more important, the focus – which many find to be too large in Ubuntu.
  3. Scrollbars: these horrible Ubuntu scrollbars can be removed with
    gsettings set com.canonical.desktop.interface scrollbar-mode normal

    this is also a user (non root) command. It will effect immediately and no need to repeat it. If some windows does not update, you can log out and in again.

Making netbeans less ugly under Ubuntu

This is done under 13.04 with sun’s java.

This is very easy fix to the horrible fonts under Ubuntu for Netbeans.

  1. find netbeans.conf file. it should be under ~/<netbeans folder>/etc
  2. find the line that starts with:”netbeans_default_options”
  3. add this at the end: --laf Nimbus -J-Dswing.aatext=true -J-Dawt.useSystemAAFontSettings=lcd
  4. There is a space at the beginning, don’t forget it

save the file, and start (or restart) Netbeans. Enjoy.

tested with netbeans 7.31,7.4

*** update ***

There is an option to set all system fonts using unity-tweak-tool. This tool enable to set the fonts system wide.

Updating systray under ubuntu 13.04

OK. With the new release of Ubuntu, the systray is even less supported.

To make it reasonable again, some steps need to be taken:

add-apt-repository ppa:timekiller/unity-systrayfix

has to be execute to restore some of the lost capability.

Then make sure you have apt-get install dconf-tools This will assist you later on in setting the environment.
Now, execute the regular apt-get dist-upgrade -y to get all the updates and restart unity (you can just log in again).

Setting configuration

start dconf editor (Alt-F2 from unity) and then: navigate to com > canonical > unity > panel and then “systray-whitelist”. Here you can put any values you like to see. I like to see them all, (Skype, true crypt and what have you) so I have just put ‘all’.