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I recently installed Matlab in /usr/matlab. What do I do to make it appear in the application launcher on the top left of the taskbar?

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You can add a launcher to the panel by right clicking on a free area on the panel and selecting "Add to panel" and then "Custom Application Launcher" (or if the application is already present in the applications menu, you can select "Application Launcher" and then select the application from the menu).

You can add an entry into the applications menu by right clicking on it and selecting "Edit menu".

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i tried it but it does not fully open man, as in only the logo of the program shows up and the program does not open.. where as if i type the same thing on the terminal, the program gets started without any problems what so ever –  John Jan 15 '11 at 3:54
    
@john Right click on that launcher, and on Type drop-down, select Application in Terminal. That way you'll get to see whatever error messages you get from the Terminal. –  Tshepang Jan 15 '11 at 6:48
    
@John: My guess is that matlab requires some environment variables to be set and the install script wrote those into some rc file, which gets loaded when you open a shell, but not when you start gnome. –  sepp2k Jan 15 '11 at 15:22
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