How to Easily Create Quicklist For Ubuntu Unity Launcher

Previously, we have shown you a list of useful quicklist that you can add to your Ubuntu launcher. While they are useful, creating them is not a one-click affair. You have to copy the .desktop file over to your Home folder, make the amendment and restart Unity. What if there is an easier way to create/edit quicklist items for your applications?

Unity Launcher Editor (ULE) is a python script that allows you to edit your Unity launcher. It allows you to add and remove applications to and from the launcher and also create/edit the quicklist items for each application. Compared to the previous way where you have to manually edit the config file, this is definitely a much better way.


Unity Launcher Editor is currently not available in the Ubuntu repository, nor is there a PPA or deb file (as of this post). To install ULE, we have to download the source code from LaunchPad.

sudo apt-get install bzr
bzr branch lp:unity-launcher-editor

Once you have downloaded the source code, you should find a “unity-launcher-editor” folder in your Home directory. In your Nautilus, navigate to the “unity-launcher-editor -> unitylaunchereditor” folder and double-click the file. A prompt will show up:


Click Run.


Using Unity Launcher Editor

There are three parts to the ULE. The panel on the left shows the existing applications that are in the launcher. You can select on any app and its details will show up on the right panel.

The top section of the right panel shows the launcher app details while the bottom section shows its quicklist items.

To add quicklist item to an existing application in the launcher, for example Firefox:

1. Select the app (Firefox) icon on the left panel.

2. Under the Quicklist Group, click the + button.


3. Add the quicklist group name and the command you want it to execute. For example, I want to add a Private mode quicklist so I can quickly open a private session in Firefox.


4. Click Save.

Your quicklist item should appear in the launcher. If not, log out and log in again, or restart Unity (unity --replace).

Adding application to the launcher

ULE also allows you to add new application to the launcher. This is a two steps process.

1. Click the + button at the bottom of the left panel. Enter the launcher name.


2. Select the newly added launcher. Edit the info at the top section of the right panel.


Note: Please note that this is not the easiest way to add applications to the launcher. The easiest way is to first run the application that you want to add, then right click its icon on the launcher and select “Keep in launcher”.

Do you have an easier way to add quicklist items to the launcher?


Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

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