Top Ubuntu Unity Quicklists

Top Ubuntu Unity Quicklists
Top Ubuntu Unity Quicklists

While most Linux Distros are moving to Gnome 3 and Gnome Shell, Canonical decides to travel a different path in Ubuntu 11.10 by making Unity as the default Window Manager. Even-though Unity has been introduced in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal (Ubuntu 10.10 if you consider Net-book Edition), it also features a fall-back to classical Gnome 2.x. But with Ubuntu 11.10, Unity has become the standard Window Manager for default session and fall-back sessions (Unity 2d for fall-back sessions, which is nothing but Unity with no 3d effects).

One of the highlights of the Unity UI is the launcher that sits on the left side of the Unity Desktop. This allows users to access their favorite apps much more faster. One of the useful in Unity is adding quicklists to application icons in the launcher. For example you can right click the Thunderbird Mail application icon in the Unity launcher and get options to compose a new message or to view the Thunderbird Contacts. This is very similar to Windows 7 Task-bar Jump-list. But unfortunately not all application in Unity launcher has this list. Although Ubuntu came out with an API for the Unity launcher and anyone can create their own quicklists with a different modification of the configuration file. Currently there is no easy way to add a quicklist item.

In this guide we will help you to add some quicklist entries to the applications in Unity launcher, that we feel will help you in the long run. Adding a quicklist for an application involves 3 steps:

  1. Copy the desktop configuration file to your home folder.
  2. Open the desktop configuration file with gedit or with any other text editor.
  3. Add the quicklist code to the file.
Note: The icons in the images will look different than your default Gnome icons. This is because I was using Faenza icon theme. The icon theme has nothing to do with adding quicklist.

1. Add Your Favorite Places as Quicklists for Home Icon in Unity

Copy 'Home Folder' launcher file to your home directory. For that, you need to open Terminal(Unity Shortcut: Ctrl + Alt + T) and copy-paste the following commands.

cp /usr/share/applications/nautilus-home.desktop ~/.local/share/applications

Open the file in your favorite text editor. I am using Gedit here.

gedit ~/.local/share/applications/nautilus-home.desktop

Now replace the content of the file with the following text.

[Desktop Entry]Name=Home FolderComment=Open your personal folderTryExec=nautilusExec=nautilus --no-desktopIcon=user-homeTerminal=falseStartupNotify=trueType=ApplicationCategories=GNOME;GTK;Core;OnlyShowIn=GNOME;Unity;X-GNOME-Bugzilla-Bugzilla=GNOMEX-GNOME-Bugzilla-Product=nautilusX-GNOME-Bugzilla-Component=generalX-Ubuntu-Gettext-Domain=nautilusX-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Videos;Documents;Music;Pictures;Downloads[Videos Shortcut Group]Name=VideosExec=nautilus VideosTargetEnvironment=Unity[Documents Shortcut Group]Name=DocumentsExec=nautilus DocumentsTargetEnvironment=Unity[Music Shortcut Group]Name=MusicExec=nautilus MusicTargetEnvironment=Unity[Pictures Shortcut Group]Name=PicturesExec=nautilus PicturesTargetEnvironment=Unity[Downloads Shortcut Group]Name=DownloadsExec=nautilus DownloadsTargetEnvironment=Unity

And restart Unity. Hit Alt + F2 and run the following command to restart Unity.

unity --replace

Done. If that doesn't work, you might need to log out and log back in to restart Unity.

2. Add New Window and Incognito Mode to Google Chrome

Copy the Google Chrome desktop configuration file to your home folder.

cp /usr/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop ~/.local/share/applications

Open the file with gedit.

gedit ~/.local/share/applications/google-chrome.desktop

Add the following code to the end of the file:

X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=NewWindow;Incognito

[NewWindow Shortcut Group]Name=Open New Window
Exec=google-chrome
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Incognito Shortcut Group]Name=Incognito Mode
Exec=google-chrome --incognito
TargetEnvironment=Unity

Save and close the file. Restart Unity

unity --replace

3. Make the LibreOffice Start Center More Useful

Copy the LibreOffice desktop configuration file to your home folder.

cp /usr/share/applications/libreoffice-startcenter.desktop ~/.local/share/applications

Open the file with gedit.

gedit ~/.local/share/applications/libreoffice-startcenter.desktop

Add the following code to the end of the file:

X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Writer;Impress;Calc;Math;Draw

[Writer Shortcut Group]Name=Writer
Exec=libreoffice -writer %U
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Impress Shortcut Group]Name=Impress
Exec=libreoffice -impress %U
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Calc Shortcut Group]Name=Calc
Exec=libreoffice -calc %U
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Math Shortcut Group]Name=Math
Exec=libreoffice -math %U
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Draw Shortcut Group]Name=Draw
Exec=libreoffice -draw %U
TargetEnvironment=Unity

Save and close the file. Restart Unity

unity --replace

4. Another Useful Quicklist for Terminal

Copy GNOME-Terminal launcher file to your home directory.

cp /usr/share/applications/gnome-terminal.desktop ~/.local/share/applications

Open and edit the file using Gedit.

gedit ~/.local/share/applications/gnome-terminal.desktop

Find(Ctrl + f) the following line from the file.

OnlyShowIn=GNOME;

Replace it with the following line.

OnlyShowIn=GNOME;Unity;

Now, simply copy-paste the following lines towards the bottom of the file.

X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=NewWindow;NewTab;Top;Root;

[NewWindow Shortcut Group]Name=New Window
Exec=gnome-terminal --window
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[NewTab Shortcut Group]Name=New Tab
Exec=gnome-terminal --tab
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Root Shortcut Group]Name=Root Terminal
Exec=gksudo gnome-terminal
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Top Shortcut Group]Name=Top
Exec=gnome-terminal --command top
TargetEnvironment=Unity

Close all Terminal windows, right-click on Terminal launcher icon and untick 'Keep In Launcher' option.

Finally, browse to the ~/.local/share/applications/ from Nautilus file browser and simply drag and drop the new Terminal launcher(file name: gnome-terminal.desktop) onto the Unity Launcher. Done.

5. Create a Google Services Center

If you use Google services as much as I do, this is going to be very useful to you.

Open a text editor and copy/paste the following code:

[Desktop Entry]Version=1.0
Name=Google Services
Exec=/opt/google/chrome/google-chrome
Icon=/filepath/to/google-icon.png #change this filepath to the actual icon filepath
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Categories=Network;WebBrowser;

X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Gmail;Contacts;Calendar;Docs;Reader;

[Gmail Shortcut Group]Name=Gmail
Exec=xdg-open https://gmail.com
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Contacts Shortcut Group]Name=Gmail Contacts
Exec=xdg-open https://www.google.com/contacts
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Calendar Shortcut Group]Name=Google Calendar
Exec=xdg-open https://calendar.google.com
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Docs Shortcut Group]Name=Google Docs
Exec=xdg-open https://docs.google.com
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Reader Shortcut Group]Name=Google Reader
Exec=xdg-open https://google.com/reader
TargetEnvironment=Unity

Remember to change the icon file path (You can download the Google icon that I used here.) The code above uses Google Chrome. You can change it to use Firefox or your favorite browser.

Save the file with the name google-services.desktop in the folder /home/<username>/.local/share/applications folder

Next, drag this file to the launcher.

6. Add Google Shortcut

Instead of accessing the Google services, if what you want is to have quick access to the various tasks in Google, like composing new email, adding a calendar, open a new doc etc, this is how you can do it.

Open a text editor and copy/paste the following code:

[Desktop Entry]Version=1.0
Name=Google Shortcuts
Exec=/opt/google/chrome/google-chrome
Icon=/filepath/to/google-icon.png #change this filepath to the actual icon filepath
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Categories=Network;WebBrowser;

X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Gmail;Calendar;Docs;Spreadsheet;Presentation;

[Gmail Shortcut Group]Name=Compose New Mail
Exec=xdg-open https://mail.google.com/mail/?shva=1#compose
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Calendar Shortcut Group]Name=Create New Event
Exec=xdg-open https://www.google.com/calendar/event?action=TEMPLATE
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Docs Shortcut Group]Name=Create New Document
Exec=xdg-open https://docs.google.com/document/create?hl=en
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Spreadsheet Shortcut Group]Name=Create New Spreadsheet
Exec=xdg-open https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?new&hl=en
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Presentation Shortcut Group]Name=Create New Presentation
Exec=xdg-open https://docs.google.com/present/create?hl=en
TargetEnvironment=Unity

Remember to change the icon file path.

Save the file with the name google-shortcuts.desktop in the folder /home/<username>/.local/share/applications folder

Next, drag this file to the launcher.

7. Stunning Ubuntu Software Center Quicklist

As before, copy Ubuntu Software Center launcher file to your home directory. Open Terminal and copy-paste the following commands.

cp /usr/share/applications/ubuntu-software-center.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/

Open and edit the file using Gedit.

gedit ~/.local/share/applications/ubuntu-software-center.desktop

And simply copy-paste the following lines towards the bottom of the file(after the line X-Ubuntu-Gettext-Domain=software-center to be precise).

X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=SoftwareProperties;SoftwareSources;

[SoftwareProperties Shortcut Group]Name=Update Manager
Exec=update-manager -c %u
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[SoftwareSources Shortcut Group]Name=Add/Edit PPAs
Exec=gksu software-properties-gtk
TargetEnvironment=Unity

And restart Unity. Hit Alt + F2 and run the following command to restart Unity.

unity --replace

Done. If that doesn't work, you might need to log out and log back in to restart Unity.

8. Useful Banshee Quicklist

Copy Banshee launcher file to your home directory.

cp /usr/share/applications/banshee.desktop ~/.local/share/applications

Open and edit the file using Gedit.

gedit ~/.local/share/applications/banshee.desktop

And simply copy-paste the following lines towards the bottom of the file.

X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Play;Pause;Stop;Previous;Next;Preferences

[Play Shortcut Group]Name=Play
Exec=banshee --play
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Pause Shortcut Group]Name=Pause
Exec=banshee --pause
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Stop Shortcut Group]Name=Stop
Exec=banshee --stop
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Previous Shortcut Group]Name=Previous
Exec=banshee --previous
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Next Shortcut Group]Name=Next
Exec=banshee --next
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Preferences Shortcut Group]Name=Preferences
Exec=banshee --show-preferences
TargetEnviroment=Unity

And restart Unity. Hit Alt + F2 and run the following command to restart Unity.

unity --replace

Done. If that doesn't work, you might need to log out and log back in to restart Unity.

9. Filezilla FTP Quicklist

Quickly access your favorite FTP servers with from the Filezilla launcher.

There is two options of making a FileZilla quicklist. You can link to sites in the Site Manager (the safe option); or you can enter connection info directly in the .desktop file (the option without the Site Manager).

Link to Site Manager (the safe option)

Copy the Filezilla launcher to your home directory, in Terminal paste the following:

cp /usr/share/applications/filezilla.desktop ~/.local/share/applications

Open this file for editing:

gedit ~/.local/share/applications/filezilla.desktop

Append the text below at the bottom of the .desktop file, adding a "Shortcut Group" for each site you want to link. In the Exec parameter you should put the path of your FTP site in Site Manager. The 2 shortcut directly open the Filezilla Site Manager.

X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Server1;sitemanager

[Server1 Shortcut Group]Name=Site Name
Exec=filezilla -c "0/Folder Name/Site Name"
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[sitemanager Shortcut Group]Name=Site Manager
Exec=filezilla -s
TargetEnvironment=Unity

For details, you should look at the Command-line arguments page on Filezilla wiki. (http://wiki.filezilla-project.org/Command-line_arguments_%28Client%29)

10. Ubuntu One Quicklist

Connect to the server, disconnect from the server and stop the Ubuntu One syncdaemon quickly.

Copy the original Ubuntu One Control Panel icon to your home directory for editing:

cp /usr/share/applications/ubuntuone-control-panel-gtk.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/

Open the file for editing with gedit:

gedit ~/.local/share/applications/ubuntuone-control-panel-gtk.desktop

Highlight and copy the text below, then paste it at the bottom of the .desktop file:

X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Connect;Disconnect;Quit

[Connect Shortcut Group]Name=Connect
Exec=u1sdtool --connect
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Disconnect Shortcut Group]Name=Disconnect
Exec=u1sdtool --disconnect
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Quit Shortcut Group]Name=Stop Ubuntu One
Exec=u1sdtool --quit
TargetEnvironment=Unity

11. Dj Dup Quicklist

Copy Dj Dup launcher file to your home directory with Terminal:

cp /usr/share/applications/deja-dup.desktop ~/.local/share/applications

Open the file for editing in Text Editor:

gedit ~/.local/share/applications/deja-dup.desktop

Add this text to the bottom of the file, then close and save:

X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=BackupNow;

[BackupNow Shortcut Group]Name=Backup Now
Exec=deja-dup --backup
TargetEnvironment=Unity

Remove Dj Dup Icon from Launcher (untick Keep In Launcher) then open the application from Dash, the new quicklist should appear and you can re-tick Keep In Launcher.

12. Transmission Quicklist

Copy the global transmission-gtk.desktop file to your home directory:

cp /usr/share/applications/transmission-gtk.desktop ~/.local/share/applications

Edit the file:

gedit ~/.local/share/applications/transmission-gtk.desktop

Paste the following code to the bottom of the file:

X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Pause All;Start All;

[Pause All Shortcut Group]Name=Pause All
Exec=transmission-remote -tall --stop
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Start All Shortcut Group]Name=Start All
Exec=transmission-remote -tall --start
TargetEnvironment=Unity

You may also show number of downloading torrents and total progress indicator using script from https://github.com/kriomant/transmission-unity-launcher

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Source: AskUbuntu

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