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Old 08-23-2005, 04:50 AM   #1
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Cheshire, England
Distribution: Debian Stable
Posts: 269

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adding programs to main menu.

Is there a way to have all installed programs appear in the menu? Iíve installed Tuxracer and canít find it anywhere, not even in /usr/bin.
Must be some little program to add stuff to the menu.
Old 08-23-2005, 05:46 AM   #2
Registered: Jan 2002
Location: Third Stone from the Sun
Distribution: Debian Sid, SourceMage 0.9.5, & To be Continued on a TP
Posts: 800

Rep: Reputation: 31
Did you "updatedb & locate" commands, as sudo?
Old 08-23-2005, 06:32 AM   #3
Registered: Oct 2004
Location: Cheshire, England
Distribution: Debian Stable
Posts: 269

Original Poster
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Thanks for your reply.

I'm pretty new to Linux. Do you mean to just type 'sudo locate' and 'sudo updatedb' in a terminal? or is it something i should have done at the install? i used Synaptic to install rather than the command line, does using Synaptic limit options?
Old 08-23-2005, 06:39 AM   #4
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: Wolverhampton, England
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 334

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at a shell run sudo updatedb first (or run it as root by using the su command) and then use locate tuxracer (where tuxracer is what you want to locate). This will give a list of directories and files which match the term 'tuxracer'
Old 08-24-2005, 04:35 PM   #5
Registered: Aug 2005
Location: Scotland
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 32

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Games are usually stored not in /usr/bin buit in /usr/games.

Gnome 2.12 will have again a menu editing function AFAIk, but until then it is relatively easy to edit and alter the gnome menu via config files. Have a look at the following mini HOWTO.

How the menu is build:

/etc/xdg/applications is a Glade xml file, building the application menu.

It uses category/directory entries in /usr/share/desktop-directories (e.g. "Games", Graphics" etc), application entries in /usr/share/applications and icons in /usr/share/pixmaps.

A well-build application entry in the directory /usr/share/applications will simply be added to the existing menu. To add a new category-directory to the menu, both /etc/xdg/applications must be altered and a new entry in /usr/share/desktop-directories must be added.

Adding a an application to the menu:

Application menu items are text files with following compulsory content:

[Desktop Entry]

A useful addition is a line describing the application


To make sure application appears only in one desktop environment of several installed include a line


Other possible additions are Names in other locales, whether an application will run in a terminal etc.

Adding a new category is a bit more complicated.

Firstly /etc/xdg/menus/applications must be edited by adding somewhere in the toplevel section <Menu> after the legacy menu entry description.

The file is in XML format and will be used to build up the menu. If you add your entry make sure that the XML file remains well formed.

<!-- MyCategoryCommentary -->
</Menu> <!-- End MyCategory -->

Secondly an entry in /usr/share/desktop-directories must be added. This should be again a simple textfile with following compulsory content:

[Desktop Entry]

The file must be named <MyCategory>.desktop

Menu categories can be nested multiple times, but this should be discouraged. The beauty of the new Gnome menu system is its simplicity.

The muliplicity of legacy menu systems in gnome and competing menu systems in KDE etc can make menus in Gnome quite messy. My personal solution was to search out all entries added by the legacy systems and adding them in the new way. Quite a few (even new-ish Gnome applications) put tehir entries into are the subdirectories of /usr/share/apps. After addition of a line


the entries there can simply be moved to /usr/share/applications.

For reasons unknown to me sometime new menu items do not immediately appear in the menu. Usually this is solved by restarting X.
Old 08-24-2005, 05:01 PM   #6
Registered: Apr 2005
Location: Wolverhampton, England
Distribution: Ubuntu
Posts: 334

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very nice tutorial, and first post as well! Welcome to linuxquestions refdoc
Old 09-03-2005, 01:16 PM   #7
Registered: Nov 2004
Location: Coventry, UK
Distribution: Debian Lenny, Ubuntu Feisty
Posts: 121

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You could also try installing smeg. This menu editor allows you to add a debian menu


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