8 Sept 2009

Chrome apps on Linux

Update: As of version, Chrome on Linux supports applications shortcuts.  (However, it uses Chrome's icon for shortcuts instead of the website's icon.)

If you are running the pre-release dev version of Chrome on Linux, you probably know that the Application Shortcuts feature of Chrome is not functional yet.  If that is one of your favourite features, you don't have to wait till the Chrome team implements it; if you are willing to create the shortcuts manually, you can get that feature right now.

Here is how you'd create an application shortcut for Gmail (in KDE):
  1. Right click on desktop, select Create New > Link to Application...
  2. Download Gmail logo from http://mail.google.com/mail/images/2/gmail_icon_32.png and save it somewhere.
  3. Click on the icon near the app name to change the icon.  This brings the Select Icon window.  Choose Other icons options.  Click on Browse... button and choose the icon you saved in the previous step.

  4. Type Gmail for the name of the application.
  5. Switch to Application tab.  Type /usr/bin/google-chrome --app=http://mail.google.com/ --enable-plugins for Command.
  6. Press OK button to save the shortcut.
That's all you have to do.  You can now click on the Gmail shortcut from your desktop and it opens Gmail in its own window.  As you might have observed, you only have to change the URL in the command line and the icon to create shortcuts for other web apps.