Adding new launchers to the RH Linux (8.0) Gnome "start menu"

emherman used Ask the Experts™
Ever since I have installed Red Hat Linux 8.0 (Gnome 2.0) 2.4.18-18.8.0, I have been unable to add program launchers to the Gnome "start menu". I want to be able to add items to the menu in the pop up red hat in the lower right of the screen. I DO NOT want (because I already know how) to add launchers to panel that runs across the bottom of the screen.

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On Gnome 1.x, the Gnome menu editor (gmenu) was used for this, but menu editing in Gnome 2.0 is now done via Nautilus.

You'll need at least Gnome 2.0.2, which fixed the buggy menu editing. Now the bad news: Red Hat 8.0 so far only support Gnome 2.0.1, even though Gnome have just announced 2.0.3.  Red Hat are one of the main sponsors and developers of Gnome, yet they always seem to be the last vendor to ship it lately, preferring to ship it with the latest version of their Linux distro.  I think this means we need to wait for RH 8.1.

Once Red Hat releases an "official" Gnome 2.0.2 (or 2.0.3 ideally), menu editing will be simple. Until then, you'll need to manually update.

Updates can be found on, but note that if you don't know what you're doing this can be tricky, and you can frag your Gnome completely if you simply download latest versions of this and that library.  
Ximian will shortly be supplying their Gnome 2 desktop for Red Hat 8.0, but as of October they've been saying "will ship by year end".

So we are in the same boat then, you and I.

Once this fixed, medu editing's quite simple. You just open Nautilus (e.g. your home folder) and enter the URL:

From there you edit your menus by right-clicking the launch icons to edit, or add a new folder or launcher from the File menu. But of course, at the moment, this doesn't work for us: you see what you want to edit, you can create folders, but you can't create launchers.  When you try, an error msg appears for a split-second, then disappears, with no launcher created.  Try it, and you'll see what I mean.

Alternatively you can do manual edits, though again this is a bit tricky:

All this hassle arises because of the move to the new Gnome-VFS, and the shared "vfolder" spec between Gnome and other X Windows desktops.   Gnome's menu launchers now use the "launcher.desktop" format, which is incompatible with earlier incarnations of Gnome (hence no more gmenu), yet, ironically, is interoperable with KDE.  Welcome to the future.  Personally I'm thinking of switching back to KDE. :(




Thank you for your comments. I have been a KDE user for a while and jumped on to the Gnome Bluecurve bandwagon for Red Hat 8.0. I love Gnome's screen savers but the rest of the Gnome functionality seemed a bit light. Gnome's look and feel is better than KDE. For functionality alone, I went back to KDE.

BTW - do you know how to get the RHN applet to run in the lower left of KDE. Mine is gone and I can't seem to find where to enable it.

It's called "up2date".  
Add a KDE "special button", by clicking the right mousebutton on any free space in Kicker and choose "Add, Special Button" and then "Non-KDE Application".

Choose the application you want to add, in this case "up2date".

In the newly appearing window, you can append an optional command line, have the aplication start from a terminal, and choose the icon which will appear in Kicker by clicking the gear.

If you don't choose an icon, the application will use the gear as a default.

Thanks for the points!

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