Pinning Eclipse to the Unity Launcher on Ubuntu

The Eclipse distribution which you can install using Ubuntu’s Software Center is usually quite old. So you just download the latest version from the official web site. Everything is fine except the fact that now you have no way to pin the application to the Unity Launcher. I usually follow the instructions below to work round this limitation.

1) Download the latest version of Eclipse and unpack it to a folder named after the name of the actual release (i.e. eclipse-luna):

sudo tar xvfz eclipse-standard-luna-R-linux-gtk-x86_64.tar.gz 

sudo mv eclipse eclipse-luna 

2) Create a symbolic link pointing to the eclipse installation which will serve as an alias:

sudo ln -s eclipse-luna eclipse 

3) Create a symbolic link in /usr/bin pointing to the executable file:

sudo ln -s /opt/eclipse/eclipse /usr/bin/eclipse 

4) Create a symbolic link in /usr/share/pixmaps pointing to the application icon:

sudo ln -s /opt/eclipse/icon.xpm /usr/share/pixmaps/eclipse.xpm 

5) Create the desktop file eclipse.desktop in /usr/share/applications with the following content:

[Desktop Entry]



Comment=Eclipse Integrated Development Environment


Exec=env UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0 eclipse



6) Now run the application by typing eclipse in the command line, right click on the launcher icon and choose “Lock to Launcher” in the context menu:


In the future, after downloading a new version just update the symbolic link. Enjoy!

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Vitaly Tsaplin

Hey, I am Vitaly and this is my blog. I live in Basel and work at Adobe.

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