Ubuntu Unity: Extend Your Home Folder Quicklist Software & Sites 23 MAR 2012

Unity’s launcher bar running down the left hand side of the screen is pretty awesome when it comes to quickly opening up your most common applications. Sitting at the top of this bar is of course your Home Folder button, which when clicked opens up, well, your home folder.

Now you can of course right click on any of the tiles in the launcher bar for more options (also known as a quicklist, basically a simplified context menu), but sadly the Home Folder tile comes with nothing more that the bog standard “Keep in launcher” menu option.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could extend this so-called Quicklist with more options, like your Music, Pictures and Downloads folders?

Well actually you can. But it does involve a little bit of work.

Open up a terminal and create a copy of the default Home Folder launcher file for your own profile, and then edit the newly created file with a text editor like gEdit:

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

Replace the existing content with the following text:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Home Folder
Comment=Open your personal folder
TryExec=nautilus
Exec=nautilus --no-desktop
Icon=user-home
Terminal=false
StartupNotify=true
Type=Application
Categories=GNOME;GTK;Core;
OnlyShowIn=GNOME;Unity;
X-GNOME-Bugzilla-Bugzilla=GNOME
X-GNOME-Bugzilla-Product=nautilus
X-GNOME-Bugzilla-Component=general
X-GNOME-Bugzilla-Version=3.0.0
X-Ubuntu-Gettext-Domain=nautilus

X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Videos;Documents;Music;Pictures;Downloads
[Videos Shortcut Group]
Name=Videos
Exec=nautilus Videos
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Documents Shortcut Group]
Name=Documents
Exec=nautilus Documents
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Music Shortcut Group]
Name=Music
Exec=nautilus Music
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Pictures Shortcut Group]
Name=Pictures
Exec=nautilus Pictures
TargetEnvironment=Unity

[Downloads Shortcut Group]
Name=Downloads
Exec=nautilus Downloads
TargetEnvironment=Unity

Save and restart Unity by hitting Alt + F2 and then entering and running:

unity –replace

Nifty. (If the above Unity restart doesn’t achieve anything, simply log out and then log back in again!)

Of course, you can use the same technique to add links to other folders, like say for instance your Dropbox folder (which launches with the command nautilus Dropbox).

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About Craig Lotter

Software developer, husband and dad to two little girls. Writer behind An Exploring South African. I don't have time for myself any more.