AppImage is a popular way for software developers to package and distribute their application to Linux users, regardless of their specific distribution choices.
Portability is the real draw; AppImages contains everything they need to work, in a single executable, they are a simple and straightforward way to run software. You download an .AppImage file, navigate to the folder you download it to, give it permission to run, and double-click to open it.
It’s not really difficult!
But if you want create application menu shortcuts for AppImages On Ubuntu (for example, so you can open your favorite AppImage apps from the same app lunch as other apps), there’s a utility called AppImageLauncher it can help.
AppImageLauncher is a system integration tool that creates appropriate shortcuts to your favorite AppImages so that you can open them from any app launcher or app menu of your choice. Even better, the utility lets you run AppImages without needing to make them executable – a boon for security, if nothing else.
Let’s watch the app in action.
Go to the AppImageLauncher “Releases” page on GitHubpull down the “assets” option under the last continuous version and download the corresponding
.deb installer for your system (be careful between ARM64 and AMD64).
Although a Lite version of this utility is available (as an AppImage, no less), the developers of the tool recommended installing the “full” version, which is provided as
.rpm fitter. This provides the best experience with the most assurance.
Once downloaded, install the
.deb in your preferred method (I use
sudo apt install ./foo.deb of the CLI).
The next time you run an AppImage you will be asked if you want to create a system launcher for it and move the runtime to a secure folder (you can control the location of this folder through the provided settings app ).
AppImages desktop shortcuts will show the correct app icon in the Ubuntu Dock, which has been hit-or-miss with AppImages I’ve used in the past – but this method ensures the correct app icon appears.
You can configure the tool settings via the AppImageLauncher Settings shortcut (added when installing the deb version). This has options to: show the integration dialog when running new AppImages; set the location to move AppImages to; whether to run the integration daemon on startup; and more.
You can also specify a directory to “watch” for new
.AppImage files, which is convenient.
Would you like to try it ? Kdenlive is one of the best Linux video editors and its developers regularly release new versions in AppImage format. Another popular AppImage is Balena Engraver, a very easy-to-use image writing tool. For more AppImages check out the AppImageHub.