Best practices for 8.1 Designer Launcher install on Linux?

Is there a “Best Practices” for installing the Designer app under Linux (Debian in my case) for Ignition 8.1?

I’m not sure if this is an Ignition or Linux question.

After downloading from the Gateway page, I end up with designerlauncher.tar.gz which contains the folder “designerlauncher”, which contains:

So where is the best/proper place to put all of these files?

I expand them to ~/designerlauncher-x.y.z/ until I’ve qualified whether they play nice with prior versions. Then I drop the version number, replacing the best prior that all my various shortcuts point at.

But you still keep the files in your home directory (~), rather than a system wide location? And does that allow the Linux system to pick up on the icon and make use of it?

I’m going to answer my own question here.

The designerlauncher.desktop file is a file that specifies where an application exists and how a Linux desktop such as Gnome (or other compliant applications) can start it from an icon. These desktop systems assign icons to applications by registering each application’s “.desktop” file.

There are 2 main locations where the “.desktop” file should be placed in order for this to occur:

  1. /usr/share/applications => For globally accessible applications by all users
  2. ~/.local/share/applications => For applications only accessible by the logged in user

Ideally you would place the designer.desktop file in one of those two locations, and place the executables somewhere else (that somewhere being described within the .desktop file). However the designerlauncher.desktop file specifies the location of the executables relative to the location of .desktop file itself. As taken from the .desktop file the app directory is defined as being in a sub-directory within the directory where the .desktop file is located:

Exec=bash -c ‘cd “$(dirname “$1”)/app” && ./ &’ . %k

As I didn’t want to:

  1. Pollute the global applications directory with the designerlauncher executables
  2. Rewrite the bash script to point to a different location

I simply copied the contents of the tar.gz file to my local applications directory. Given that I extracted the tar.gz file to ~/Downloads directory. I did this by executing the command line:

cp -rp ~/Downloads/designerlauncher/* ~/.local/share/applications

The “r” option means recursive, and the “p” option is to preserve file attributes.

With this done my Debian desktop could find the Designer Launcher application (I may have needed to log out and in again to refresh the desktop). Also just did exactly the same process for a Ubuntu based system.

Ideally the app and runtime directories should not be in the same directory as the .desktop file, but for testing purposes it works for me.

Next step is finding out where the designerlauncher puts the shortcuts for the projects!


Right, wrong, or indifferent here is what I have and it is working. Extract the tar ball, then put the designerlauncher folder in this directory: /[home]/.local/share/ignition where [home] is the home directory for your user account.

Put the .desktop folder in this directory /[home]/.local/share/applications. Then, make sure the desktop file is below replacing [home] with the user home directory:

[Desktop Entry]
Exec=/[home]/.local/share/ignition/designerlauncher/runtime/bin/java -jar /[home]/.local/share/ignition/designerlauncher/app/launcher-designer-linux.jar
Name[en_US]=Designer Launcher
Name=Designer Launcher

What I like about this is that is uses the portable java version that comes with the designerlauncher instead of mucking up your host java version.

It would be super nice if Inductive Automation made some deb and rpm packages for the Designer Launcher and the Vision Client launcher.


1 Like

maybe post your request on and tell people to vote :wink:
Anyway, thanks for your contribution.

I'm running Ubuntu and something that worked for me was to extract the .tar.gz into the desktop. Once in the desktop opened the folder "designerlauncher". Then opened the terminal in the folder. In the terminal wrote : gtk-launch designerlauncher.desktop