This brief tutorial will demonstrate how to make a .desktop file for Matlab on Ubuntu or another standard compliant desktop environment.
Open up a terminal, and run the following. In order for this to work, you will have needed to set up symbolic links during installation (see end if you didn’t).
sudo wget http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/21/Matlab_Logo.png -O /usr/share/icons/matlab.png
sudo touch /usr/share/applications/matlab.desktop
sudo gedit /usr/share/applications/matlab.desktop
and paste the following into the document.
#!/usr/bin/env xdg-open [Desktop Entry] Type=Application Icon=/usr/share/icons/matlab.png Name=MATLAB R2018a Comment=Start MATLAB - The Language of Technical Computing Exec=matlab -desktop Categories=Development;
Save, and you should have a new desktop shortcut in your launcher. Comment with any issues or concerns following an update to Matlab and I will see if I can help.
Note you can change the “Name” field above for different versions.
You can also specify the direct path to the matlab executable as e.g. “Exec=/usr/local/MATLAB/R2018a/bin/matlab -desktop“.
If you did not set up symbolic links during installation you may be able to get away with running one additional command to make the above work:
sudo ln -s /usr/local/MATLAB/R2018a/bin/matlab /usr/bin/matlab
substitute R2018a for whatever Matlab version you are using.