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How to change the name of apps on Linux

Is there an app on your Linux PC with a name you’re not happy with? Do you wish you could edit it? We can help! Follow along as we show you how to change the name of apps on Linux!

Method 1 – Menu Editor

The menu editor app is the easiest way to edit the names of programs on your Linux PC. It’s a simple application with a very easy to understand user interface. That said, the app needs to be installed first. To start the installation of the Menu Editor application, launch a terminal window. To launch a terminal window, press Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, use the terminal commands outlined below to install the software.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install menulibre

Debian

sudo apt-get install menulibre

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S menulibre

Fedora

sudo dnf install menulibre

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install menulibre

After setting up the Menu Editor (or Menulibre as it is sometimes called) on your Linux PC, the editing can begin. Launch the program by searching for it in the app menu. Once the app is open, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: When the Menu Editor is first launched, you will see an outline of the app menu on your computer, split into various categories like “Accessories,” “Internet,” “Multimedia,” etc.

Look through the various categories by clicking on them. Locate the app you want to change the name of, and select it with the mouse.

Step 2: Once you’ve selected the app you want to change the name of, Menu Editor will bring it into view. From here, find the name of the app at the top, and click on it with the mouse.

Step 3: By selecting the name section of the app in Menu Editor, you will be able to change the name of the app. Type in the new name.

 Step 4: After changing the name of the program in Menu Editor, look for the checkmark icon at the end of the text box, and click it to confirm the change. Then, find the “Save” icon, and click it to make the changes permanent.

Method 2 – Alacarte

Another way to edit the names of programs on Linux is Alacarte. Like Menu Editor (Menulibre), it is a GUI menu editing tool. However, Alacarte is much more lightweight and easier on resources. Here’s how to use Alacarte to edit the names of programs.

First, launch a terminal window on your Linux desktop by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Once the terminal window is open, use the command-line instructions to set up the latest release of Alacarte on your computer.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install alacarte

Debian

sudo apt-get install alacarte

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S alacarte

Fedora

sudo dnf install alacarte

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install alacarte

When the app is done installing, launch it via the app menu on the Linux desktop. Then, follow the step-by-step instructions below to learn how to edit app names with it.

Step 1: Once Alacarte is open, you will see a tree on the left-hand side of the app listing different categories. All of the apps on your system are sorted into these categories.

Click on a category with the mouse to view the various app shortcuts within.

Step 2: Click on the app shortcut in Alacarte that you’d like to edit using the mouse. By clicking on the app shortcut, Alacarte will highlight it.

Step 3: With the app shortcut highlighted, find the “Properties” button on the right-hand side of the app window, and click on it with the mouse.

Step 4: Upon clicking on the “Properties” button, a window will appear. In this window, look for the “Name” section. Then, erase the existing name and set it to whatever you’d like to change it to.

After you’ve changed the name, click “OK” to save it. It’ll instantly update on your system.

Method 3 – Terminal

Those who aren’t fans of GUI apps will be happy to know that it is possible to edit app names in Linux via the terminal. To start the editing process, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, use the CD command to move the terminal into /usr/share/applications/.

cd /usr/share/applications/

Once inside of the applications folder, use the sudo -s command to elevate the terminal session to root. You need root access to edit app shortcut files.

sudo -s

Run the ls command to view the contents of the folder.

ls

Look through the printout that the ls command displays and find the name of the app you wish to edit. For example, if you wish to edit the Chromium app name, you need to locate chromium.desktop.

When you’ve located the app shortcut file you wish to edit, open it up in the Nano text editor.

nano -w my-app-shortcut.desktop 

Look for Name= and change it from the existing name to the new one. Then, save changes with Ctrl + O. Exit with Ctrl + X.

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