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Thread: Fork an application to only change the name

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Fork an application to only change the name

    i have a curiosity: i just red that Elementary team forked some applications to only change the names and apply some minor changes.

    My question is: how, practically, i can change the name of an application? Sure, i'm not interested in change the name of the application and after say "hey this is my app", i just want to know how..

    thanks for everyone that will help me!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    West Hills CA
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Fork an application to only change the name

    The MATE desktop did the same thing. Every gnome program needed a new name so that it would not conflict with the same-named programs in gnome3. That way, you can install MATE and gnome3 shell or Unity on the same system. So nautilus (the file manager) is named caja in MATE.

    I'm not sure how it is done exactly, but I would guess that the names are changed in the source code (a tedious process) and then recompiled. Then when the program is packaged, the final name is given.

    Though not recommended, you can change any program name in linux. It might cause some breakage.

    For instance the which command shows you where a program is located:

    which firefox
    It might look like:

    tgalati4@Mint14-Extensa ~ $ which firefox

    Typically if you need a unique name for a program, you can create a script that launches the program with your particular customizations. For instance, I had firefast which was firefox run completely from a ramdisk to improve speed. So firefox and firefast both existed on the system.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014

    Re: Fork an application to only change the name

    And for example how i can do somethings like the change firefox --> firefast??

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