Panel Launchers in Other Distributions

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Tater
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Panel Launchers in Other Distributions

Post by Tater »

Hello all,

On my Mint Cinnamon installs I just add a panel to the left side of the monitor that auto hides with launchers for my home directory, data directory, a spreadsheet for tracking my weight and BP, an application I use regularly for converting units, the calculator, etc. It is just a convenience for often used things so I don't have to go looking in the menu and file system for them.

I have been playing around with some other distributions/desktop environments and I keep running into a block: How do you set up launchers for documents and applications on an additional auto-hiding panel so they are handy for launching but not cluttering your actual task bar (as they would if pinned to it)?

When I go looking on the internet for how to replicate this in other distributions (Solus Budgie at the moment) I can't find anything. I can find docks (Plank and Dash to Dock are available in the software center), but they seem to be task bars that don't appear to allow addition of static launchers. And they show what you have open (task bar) which I already have showing on another panel. I just want a panel with launchers for documents and and applications that I use frequently. I added a panel through budgie's desktop settings, but there are no applets for custom launchers. It's just the task list or directory list from what I see.

I assume I am just not using the correct search terms for what I am looking for. Anyone have any ideas how the greater Linux world does this? What search terms I should be using? Surely Cinnamon's capabilities aren't that unique in the Linux world?

Thanks for any ideas or input.
Current victims:
Mint 20 Cinnamon on an HP 505B AMD Athlon II x4 645 / 3.1 Ghz w/ 8 GB Ram

Mint 19 Mate on a Dell Latitude D830 Intel Core 2 Duo T7250 / 2 GHz w/ 4 GB Ram

OS Reinstall Counter is set at 6
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Tater
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Re: Panel Launchers in Other Distributions

Post by Tater »

Well, after much search term roulette I found (for Budgie) this https://discuss.getsol.us/d/3680-creating-a-launcher which are instructions for creating a .desktop file to launch a program. Since you can add arguments for launching you can have an application start and open a document. You can place the launcher in your menu and drag the icon to the panel task list applet and it will stick. You have to find the icon you want to use and set it in the file. You have to set the applet setting to only show favorites in order to limit it to the applications you want for your quick launch.

I appreciate the Cinnamon launcher much more now. :lol:
Current victims:
Mint 20 Cinnamon on an HP 505B AMD Athlon II x4 645 / 3.1 Ghz w/ 8 GB Ram

Mint 19 Mate on a Dell Latitude D830 Intel Core 2 Duo T7250 / 2 GHz w/ 4 GB Ram

OS Reinstall Counter is set at 6
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Re: Panel Launchers in Other Distributions

Post by majpooper »

Please don't take this as being flip or rude but wouldn't it be more productive to go on the forum of the specific distro on which you are trying to accomplish a specific task to get help?

I play around with other distros as well - Bodhi linux being the latest that I really like for what I call resource challenged systems. Also Ubuntu (I lurk often on that forum) Sparky linux, have even looked at Zorin and a few others. Mint is my daily driver and I live on this forum most of the time but when I do have a question or problem with another distribution it does not occur to be to come here for support.
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Re: Panel Launchers in Other Distributions

Post by Tater »

I don't think you are being rude, I suppose it's a fair question.

I assumed that someone here would have an idea, I know many of the regulars have been using various distros and DEs for years. I could have set up an account on the Solus forums but I already have an account here and I don't see the question as strictly a Budgie question either.

It's more of a Linux thing as I see it: Do Linux users just routinely drill their way to files or do they use launchers, or the equivalent, from panels/docks? Is it normal to have to create files to setup shortcuts in the operating system or is it more common to have a graphical tool for a DE task such as creating a launcher?

All I know is what I know. I don't get to watch others using their Linux boxes do things the way they are done. That's why I asked the question. While I was waiting for a response I found a way to do what I want done. It may not be the way it's done. Or it may be the only way to do it without Cinnamon. I don't know.
Current victims:
Mint 20 Cinnamon on an HP 505B AMD Athlon II x4 645 / 3.1 Ghz w/ 8 GB Ram

Mint 19 Mate on a Dell Latitude D830 Intel Core 2 Duo T7250 / 2 GHz w/ 4 GB Ram

OS Reinstall Counter is set at 6
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Re: Panel Launchers in Other Distributions

Post by majpooper »

No problem - this forum has tons of members so someone may know something about another distro that is helpful - I guess no harm in asking.

I play a lot with other distros and I really like playing with look and feel so I experiment with themes and icons and panels/docks etc. I always do this stuff in a VM and even get into modifying .css files (Cinnamon) and .js files. I always start out by doing a web search because answers to the same questions can often be found in several different places. Often I will be pointed to forums (often this one) that have good info and typically you do not have to be a member to see a particular thread. Now granted if you want to engage the forum with further questions you have to be a member. I am a member of a half dozen forums that I only use occasionally but are good sources of info.
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Re: Panel Launchers in Other Distributions

Post by Tater »

I did search for answers in the Solus forum and Ubuntu Budgie pages. That is why I figured that I was just not using the right terminology. Or, as seems to be the theme of my life, I asked a question nobody ever asked before. Usually because the answer is blindingly obvious.

I have played with a few distros in Virtual Machines. Some run better than others in that environment. I figure running a distro installed on hardware is really the best way to figure out how it really works. I found this site with pre-built VMs that is cool: https://www.osboxes.org.

I am still in search of what is meant by "Modern Desktop" when people review a DE. I have looked at screenshots of some "modern desktops" and couldn't see the distinction. So I went looking at some VMs. I'm still at a loss, but it is interesting to see how different people set up a DE.

I just got an SSD for my old Dell D830 laptop and I am going to multiboot LM20 XFCE, Puppy Linux and Linux Lite to see which I prefer. Since I use it only for incidentals (Video watching, lite browsing, PDF viewing when I need to be outside or in the garage.) I won't be installing much on it and won't be doing any real modifications to the DEs. It will be an interesting endeavor seeing how the hardware works with different lite distros.
Current victims:
Mint 20 Cinnamon on an HP 505B AMD Athlon II x4 645 / 3.1 Ghz w/ 8 GB Ram

Mint 19 Mate on a Dell Latitude D830 Intel Core 2 Duo T7250 / 2 GHz w/ 4 GB Ram

OS Reinstall Counter is set at 6
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Re: Panel Launchers in Other Distributions

Post by majpooper »

I don't really have any spare hardware to test on but yeah that would be nice - software runs better on bare metal than on VMs.

Give Bodhi linux a shot if you want something really light that will run on systems with weak CPU and hardly any RAM. What I like is Bodhi only loads the very basic apps to get you up and running - no games and Libre Office etc. So you can add only what you use app wise. Sparky linux was OK - pretty light. I recently installed Bodhi on two rather old systems (old MacBook and very old HP dm1 netbook) for folks who didn't want or could not afford to spend on new systems. One I gave a MAC-ish look and feel the other a retro Windows-ish look and feel.

As far as configurations go . . . . yeah, I find that can take a lot of experimentation and sometimes file manipulation. And you are right about terms - one man's task bar is another man's panel . . . or shelf ..... or dock
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Re: Panel Launchers in Other Distributions

Post by Hoser Rob »

Tater wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:41 am
... Surely Cinnamon's capabilities aren't that unique in the Linux world? ....
No, what you describe is pretty routine on any Linux DE I've used (in fact I think the power of Cinnamon is overrated), but I haven't tried Budgie. Or Solus. I will say that Ubuntu and Mint docs kind of spoil you. And Arch ... I've gotten 95% of my useful support info from Ubuntu or Arch support sites.
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Re: Panel Launchers in Other Distributions

Post by majpooper »

I tried to to install Solus Budgie in VirtualBox to see what I could do playing with the taskbar/panel whatever you want to call it to try and get the desired result but so far VB won't load the .iso something about the kernel not supporting the CPU ? ? ? ? ? Funny I have no issue loading other Ubuntu derivatives . . . . I will play with a bit mor before I give up.
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Re: Panel Launchers in Other Distributions

Post by majpooper »

majpooper wrote:
Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:14 pm
I tried to to install Solus Budgie in VirtualBox to see what I could do playing with the taskbar/panel whatever you want to call it to try and get the desired result but so far VB won't load the .iso something about the kernel not supporting the CPU ? ? ? ? ? Funny I have no issue loading other Ubuntu derivatives . . . . I will play with a bit mor before I give up.
EDIT:
Got Solus Budgie installed and ran into the same road block you did. Looks like Solus Budgie is a pretty polished distro to appeal to new users who are not really interested in doing that much customization. It's not for me but I can see how it could be a good distro for home and small office environments that just want clean stable OS and desktop. I have to be able to do a lot more than Solus Budgie will allow.
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Re: Panel Launchers in Other Distributions

Post by ajgreeny »

I've been using Xubuntu and Mint-Xfce for several years, and one of the delights of Xfce is the ease with which I can add a second panel on the left hand side and add launchers simply by right clicking the launcher in the whisker-menu (not the simpler Application-menu) and choosing "Add to panel", then choosing which of the two panels to use.

It works brilliantly; give it a try!
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Re: Panel Launchers in Other Distributions

Post by rickNS »

Tater wrote:
Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:41 am

On my Mint Cinnamon installs I just add a panel to the left side of the monitor that auto hides with launchers for my home directory, data directory, a spreadsheet /CUT

Surely Cinnamon's capabilities aren't that unique in the Linux world?
I used that setup for awhile on MATE, so no it's not unique to cinnamon.
ss200113.png
ss200113.png (29.13 KiB) Viewed 158 times
Solus you mention I believe can have panels at top and bottom, but not on the side.
Mint 19.0 mate on 2 identical Thinkpad T420's
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Re: Panel Launchers in Other Distributions

Post by Tater »

Sorry for the long delay in getting back, long days and all that. Hopefully I'll be regularly under 60 hours a week at work soon.

I appreciate everyone giving feedback and making the effort.

majpooper, thank you for going to the trouble of firing up a VM. That was very kind of you.

RickNS and HoserRob, thank you for the confirmation that it isn't an anomalous set up. You can set a panel on the side in Budgie and you can toggle it to be a panel or a dock (Basically just how wide/tall the panel ends up in relation to the contents). Unfortunately, you can only populate the panel with the default quick launch/taskbar applet unless you make your own .desktop files.

I found the workaround of creating a .desktop file to establish a launcher which I could then stick on a side panel/dock. My interest in Budgie stems from an interview on Destination Linux I heard with Ikey Doherty about it. That got me thinking that it would be interesting to set up different distros with the equivalent of my work flow/customizations on LM Cinnamon. That means figuring out how to do things that I am used to but in different environments. Which means I am going to learn how little I know about what is usual for others using Linux. And, I think that is a worthwhile educational objective.

I am going to spend a little time in Solus Budgie and see what else I have to learn. An oddity that I have noticed is that the cursor seems a bit laggy on Budgie. That is probably my next challenge.

I have LM XFCE installed on my D830 and I will be trying to figure out that DE as well. But, since it is a laptop, I can't see doing much in the way of customization.
Current victims:
Mint 20 Cinnamon on an HP 505B AMD Athlon II x4 645 / 3.1 Ghz w/ 8 GB Ram

Mint 19 Mate on a Dell Latitude D830 Intel Core 2 Duo T7250 / 2 GHz w/ 4 GB Ram

OS Reinstall Counter is set at 6
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