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How to add a “places” style Quicklist to the ‘home launcher’ in Ubuntu Unity

The ‘home’ folder is put in easy reach in Ubuntu 11.04 – slap bang at the top of the Unity launcher.

Rather than replacing the “Places” menu of pre-Ubuntu 11.04, pictured below, the launcher is now just a launcher: doing nothing more, nothing less. Clicking on it opens up your home folder in Nautilus, Ubuntu’s default file manager.

Places Menu in the "classic" Ubuntu desktop

Places Menu in the "classic" Ubuntu desktop

Browsing for files in specific locations is now handled by the Files Lens.

Quick, give me a quick list

Reader Meister0815 wasn’t sold on this change so sent us in a quick guide on adding a ‘Places’ style listing to the Quicklist of the home folder launcher.

He writes: “I thought it would be a bit more helpful if the main Home folder launcher had a quicklist full of links to folders, just like the old ‘places’ menu did in the traditional Gnome-panel/Ubuntu classic desktop.

I was looking for a long time, to get a replacement for the “Places” menu in the old gnome-panel. After a while, I figured out how to modify the launcher-files to achieve this.”

And here is how he did it (if you’re going to follow along remember to make backups where necessary.)

  • Run the following in a Terminal or via ALT+f2 to open up the ‘Home folder launcher’ file:

gksudo gedit /usr/share/applications/nautilus-home.desktop

  • First make a backup of the file that opens, then copy and paste the following text into the text editor, hitting ‘Save’ when done:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Home Folder
GenericName=Home Folder
X-GNOME-FullName=Home Folder
Comment=Open your favourite folders in Nautilus
Exec=nautilus %U
Icon=user-home
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Categories=GNOME;GTK;Core;
StartupNotify=true
X-GNOME-Bugzilla-Bugzilla=GNOME
X-GNOME-Bugzilla-Product=nautilus
X-GNOME-Bugzilla-Component=general
X-Ubuntu-Gettext-Domain=nautilus

X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Home;Documents;Downloads;Pictures;Music;Videos;

[Home Shortcut Group]
Name=Home
Exec=nautilus
OnlyShowIn=Unity

[Documents Shortcut Group]
Name=Documents
Exec=nautilus Documents/
OnlyShowIn=Unity

[Downloads Shortcut Group]
Name=Downloads
Exec=nautilus Downloads/
OnlyShowIn=Unity

[Pictures Shortcut Group]
Name=Pictures
Exec=nautilus Pictures/
OnlyShowIn=Unity

[Music Shortcut Group]
Name=Music
Exec=nautilus Music/
OnlyShowIn=Unity

[Videos Shortcut Group]
Name=Videos
Exec=nautilus Videos/
OnlyShowIn=Unity

  • Log out and back in
  • Right click on the Home-launcher to see your newly added places menu