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TIL Chromebook Linux Launcher Creation

Sunder Iyer
Gamer. Game Dev.
・2 min read

2021-05-19

Previously I set my Chromebook to run Godot but I didn't like opening terminal to run it and would rather have a pinned icon to launch Godot. Debian Packages installed from Chrome's Files have such shortcuts created automatically but AppImages don't. To make a launcher for an AppImage, it's necessary to make a .desktop file and place it in a specific folder.

One way to make a .desktop file is to open the Text app and write the descriptions by hand.

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Godot
Comment=Great Game Engine
Exec=/home/goldenxp/apps/godot33
Icon=/home/goldenxp/icons/godot-icon.png
Type=Application
Categories=Development;Graphics;Game
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

There are other options one can take advantage of like keywords and terminal display, etc.

When you're satisfied, you need to save the file in a specific location so that it's picked up by the Chrome OS Launcher. Read here for some info on this. The location I'm going to use is ~/.local/share/applications/. It's hidden by default so when you want to save it, you'll need to show hidden files.
Show Hidden Files in Chrome's Files App
Once you save it, it should take a couple of seconds for it to show up in the Launcher. Now you can click to launch and even pin the app to the shelf.

Resulting icon showing up in Linux Apps

Note: I've noticed that some .desktop edits don't register updates in Chrome. The workaround is to delete the .desktop file and remake it.

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