Multi Blender Launcher

<Disclaimer>This blog post really only applies to people running Linux with the Cinnamon interface, if you're not using those, this blog will be of no use to you.</Disclaimer>

     Alright, now that we have that out of the way, lets get on to the coolness. :) So as some of you may notice I'm a fan of Blender, and the various different developmental builds that are part of GSoC, Google Summer of Code. I have several different versions on my laptop at the moment, five to be exact. Before I found this, I had to browse to the folder that the programs were located in, and then launch them from there, but using this simple applet I was able to make a devoted launcher just for my different versions of Blender.

1. Make sure you are running Linux with Cinnamon, see disclaimer.

2. Visit, http://cinnamon-spices.linuxmint.com/applets/view/60  download, and copy into your ~/.local/share/cinnamon/applets folder. Open your Cinnamon settings and enable the applet, it's called My Launcher :)

3. You might have to restart Cinnamon before the applet will show, I didn't have to, but things could change. Restart by hitting Alt + F2 to pull up the terminal, and then type 'r' or 'restart' to restart Cinnamon.

4. Right click on the applet on the menu and select the top option 'Edit launcher menu' your default text editor should open with a bunch of text. You can safely delete it all and paste this in, making the changes necessary to mirror your locations.
 
# mylauncher@markbokil.com Properties File

# Your favorite apps go here...
# # symbol is a comment and hides line

BlendSwap=xdg-open /home/nathan/Blender/BlendSwap
My Blends=xdg-open /home/nathan/Blender/Blends/My_Blends

[MS] -----------------
Blender: Official=/home/nathan/Blender/Blender-2.64/blender
Blender: Bratwurst=/home/nathan/Blender/Blender_Bratwurst/blender
Blender: Fried Chicken=/home/nathan/Blender/Blender_FriedChicken/blender
Blender: Sushi=/home/nathan/Blender/Blender_Sushi/blender

changing nathan to your name, and the other folders to the locations of your blender folders. The easiest way of doing this is to open that folder, get the properties of the blender executable and copy the location and then append /blender to the end. As soon as you save the text file the launcher updates, so you can check and make sure everything is working very easily.

5. Customize your icon. The default icon is just two arrows, and while there is nothing wrong with that, if this is going to be a dedicated Blender launcher it would make sense to have a Blender icon. Browse to  ~/.local/share/cinnamon/applets folder and open it as root and then open the .svg blender icon file, which you can find in any Blender build folder, with Gimp, and export it as a 64x64 .png, and copy it over the icon that exists in that folder, you can copy the .svg file in as well. I'm not sure why there are both, but when they are only kilobytes, what does it matter if there was a dozen.

     That's is now you have a launcher just for you Blender builds, of course you can use this for anything else you want. I just made this post because I set this up yesterday.

P.S.
     I have set up generic names, for my folders, so when I get a newer version I just have to copy it into the folder. If you've downloaded from Graphicall.org you know that the builds will all have the revision numbers, rather than having to update my menu I just removed that from the folder name, saving a little bit of work when I download a new build.