Sometimes we need to use software that we have written ourselves or downloaded from someone else’s GitHub. Since I use the Gnome desktop, I will explain the steps by launching Blender via a custom shortcut.
If you download Blender from the official website then you get a compressed file. After uncompromising, a new directory gets created which includes all the files needed to run Blender. At this point, one could run Blender by opening the terminal in that directory and issuing this command: ./blender (ENTER)
But this is not practical. A better way is to add a custom shortcut.
Adding a custom shortcut in Gnome
To add a custom shortcut, I right-click anywhere on the desktop and open
Settings > Keyboard > Keyboard Shortcuts > View and Customize Shortcuts.
Once that pop-up window is open, I click the last entry at the bottom which is Custom Shortcuts and then Add Shortcut.
Let’s recap. By now, we have an uncompressed directory in the Downloads directory by the name of blender-3.0.0-linux-x64. Inside that directory are many files and one of them is called blender. Now that we know where this executable files is, we can set the shortcut.
Back in the custom shortcuts popup window, I click the Add Shortcut button which prompts me for three entries:
Here I enter the app name like Blender
Here, I enter /home/username/Downloads/blender-3.0.0-linux-x64/./blender
Don’t forget the . (dot) before the last word ./blender or the shortcut will not work.
Shortcut > Set Shortcut
You can pick what ever you want. I’ve chosen Ctrl + Alt + B
Testing the custom app shortcut
Not comes the moment of truth. If all the steps were performed correctly, then pressing Ctrl + Alt + B will instantly launch Blender.
I hope that this example explained how to launch a non-native Gnome app via a custom shortcut. I’ve used Blender to demonstrate but any app, even a Gnome app, can be launched by creating a custom shortcut. Thank you for reading and enjoy Linux.