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[Solved] Program launchers in XFCE

Posted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 12:34 am
by M_Mynaardt
Hi!

Just thought I'd give Linux Mint 9 XFCE a go on my netbook. Looks good so far. Except I've noticed you can't put a launcher icon on the desktop as easily as I would like. How do you go about that?

Re: program launchers in XFCE

Posted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:44 am
by Robin
As far as I know, the only icons available for the desktop in Xfce are Trash, Home, File system, and Removable devices.

Launchers for applications (like Firefox, Exaile, etc) go in a panel, not on the desktop. But you can have four panels if you like, top, bottom, and sides; and you can make them as big as you want. I use two - one on the bottom with launch icons for my favorite apps (and applets like weather and clock), and one "invisble-until-you-mouse-over-it" panel on top just for minimized stuff.

I like a completely clean icon-free desktop with a "dock" looking thingy to launch stuff from (the right-click menu is awesome in Xfce!). If you want launchers on the desktop space, LXDE does that. I created a Windowsy-looking "clickable desktop" for kids using LXDE. I simply opened PCManFM and dragged items from /user/share/applications to the desktop and dropped 'em there.

Looks kinda Win95ish, according to my big brother who used to use that, but it was intended for little kids to play with so it had to be "desktop-clickable."

Hope that helps,
Robin

Re: program launchers in XFCE

Posted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 7:14 am
by bobcollard
Right click the desktop, Create Launcher, Mostly self explanatory. There are icons you can use or choose your own from usr/share/pixmaps. It will come up on the desktop when you are finished.

Re: program launchers in XFCE

Posted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 2:06 pm
by M_Mynaardt
Hello there!

Okay, thanks for the information; I'll check out those two things and see what happens.

I'm still fairly new to the whole Linux thing...

The desk launcher icon thing; I take it you have to know the command to type in for a given application. Where would those be?

I stumbled on the panel thing earlier but didn't realize what it was for exactly. Naturally, now that I want to find it, I can't! Oh well, I'll figure it out! Learning pains, eh?

Re: program launchers in XFCE

Posted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 5:24 pm
by M_Mynaardt
I almost have it! I've figured out how to find the desktop launcher and the panel things. But what directories would I need to look for programs in to tell launchers what to launch?

I found usr/share/pixmaps no problem. Now all I need to figure out is where the program launchers are usually kept.

I did say I'm fairly new to Linux, did I not?

Re: program launchers in XFCE

Posted: Thu Sep 09, 2010 6:10 pm
by linuxviolin
M_Mynaardt wrote:Now all I need to figure out is where the program launchers are usually kept.
In /usr/bin
M_Mynaardt wrote:to tell launchers what to launch?
For all apps in your path, /usr/bin, you can just write its name. E.g. for a Firefox launcher, just write: firefox, or firefox %u, without capital letter at the beginning. To verify the command you want to write, try it in a terminal before. If it launchs the app without problem then the command is good, so you can use it.

Re: program launchers in XFCE

Posted: Fri Sep 10, 2010 12:37 am
by M_Mynaardt
linuxviolin wrote:
M_Mynaardt wrote:Now all I need to figure out is where the program launchers are usually kept.
In /usr/bin
M_Mynaardt wrote:to tell launchers what to launch?
For all apps in your path, /usr/bin, you can just write its name. E.g. for a Firefox launcher, just write: firefox, or firefox %u, without capital letter at the beginning. To verify the command you want to write, try it in a terminal before. If it launchs the app without problem then the command is good, so you can use it.
Oh, cool! Thanks for that; I'll give it a go in a bit!

:o

Re: program launchers in XFCE

Posted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:04 pm
by kalwisti
Hi, M_Mynaardt,

In case you (or anyone else) is interested, I put together a brief how-to on adding a launcher to your Xfce panel. It is updated with screenshots from Mint 8 "Helena" Xfce CE, is 6 pages long and 481 kB in size. I placed a copy in my Dropbox Public folder:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/7269942/xfce-launcher.pdf

(Hopefully this will work OK and can be downloaded without requiring you to register. I'm a new Dropbox user, so I may not have uploaded the PDF correctly).

Also, since you are a new Linux and Xfce user, you might find the articles linked below to be a gentle introduction to the Xfce Desktop Environment. PCLinuxOS Magazine recently published a three-part series of articles on Xfce. Most -- if not all -- the info in this series should apply to Mint's Xfce 4.6.1 as well. Maybe they will help you get your feet wet ...

http://pclosmag.com/html/Issues/201006/links.html
Issue 41 (June 2010) [Table of Contents]

http://pclosmag.com/html/Issues/201007/links.html
Issue 42 (July 2010) [Table of Contents]

http://pclosmag.com/html/Issues/201008/links.html
Issue 43 (Aug. 2010) [Table of Contents]

Magazine issues can also can be downloaded in PDF form:

http://pclosmag.com/index.php/downloads

HTH,
=david

Re: program launchers in XFCE

Posted: Sat Sep 11, 2010 10:08 pm
by M_Mynaardt
Hi All!

Well, I got the panels and all that working just fine. It took a little messing about; finding the right icon and the right executable individually, but that wasn't so tough. I didn't have that many panel launches to make.

But I will say I like the fact there's up to 9 different panels you can make, if you so wish. I made three auto hide ones on the top of the screen of my netbook: one for my Internet programs, one for system programs (TrueCrypt, Xarchiver, etc.), and another for my office software (Open office, editor, and address book).

Nothing too flash, but they work just fine! And that is a good thing!