How to Start VTune Amplifier from Ubuntu Launcher

Under Linux many commands are executed from the command line, which is OK. But if the program you are starting has a mouse driven GUI in my view the command line doesn't really make sense.

NOTE: In all the following <install dir> means where you installed Intel® System Studio. On my system this is /opt/intel/system_studio_2014.0.025. Use the location you chose during installation.

VTune Amplifier is for me such a case. To start it from the command line you need to

$ source <install_dir>/vtune_amplifier_2014_for_systems/amplxe-vars.sh
$ amplxe-gui&

Wouldn't it be much nicer to just click on a symbol in the launcher?

VTune in the Ubuntu Launcher

Unfortunately right clicking on the already running VTune Amplifier and choosing "lock to launcher" doesn't work. The only solution I know of is to create a .desktop file.
Here is a good explanation how these files work and what to do with them https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UnityLaunchersAndDesktopFiles

My .desktop file for VTune is:

[Desktop Entry]
Encoding=UTF-8
Version=1.0
Name=VTune Amplifier For Systems
Comment=VTune
Exec=/opt/intel/system_studio_2014.0.025/vtune_amplifier_for_systems/bin64/amplxe-gui %U
Icon=/opt/intel/vtune-icon.png
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Categories=Development;Profiling
StartupNotify=true
MimeType=application/vtune

This tells the launcher where to find the executable and where the icon for the launcher is. There is a  .desktop file and an icon file inside the ZIP file attached to this article you can use.
What you need to do:

  • Open the .desktop file in your editor and change the line "Exec" to point to where your VTune is stored.
  • Be sure to select either the 32-bit or 64-bit binary depending on your Ubuntu version
  • Change the line "Icon" to point to where you stored the icon.png file
  • Store this file under ~/.local/share/applications as vtune.desktop
  • Drag & drop your .desktop file onto the launcher - voila you have new item on the launcher!

This works brilliantly for local analysis - but not for remote analysis. When working with a remote target you need to tell VTune where the collector is stored by setting an environment variable. (see here for details: https://software.intel.com/node/be35e056-5640-48b0-a4e6-d03704de0207).

This can also be done in the .desktop file! (details are here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/EnvironmentVariables)
You need to add an option to the "Exec" line in the .desktop file to set the environment variable. The syntax is:

Exec= env AMPLXE_TARGET_PRODUCT_DIR=<path to vtune files on target> <path to vtune binary on host>

To

Exec= env AMPLXE_TARGET_PRODUCT_DIR=/opt/intel/vtune_amplifier_2014_for_systems /opt/intel/system_studio_2014.0.025/vtune_amplifier_2014_for_systems/bin64/amplxe-gui 

Using the same mechanics it is also easy to create a .desktop file for Eclipse. I put a suitable .desktop file in the ZIP file attached to to this article to get you started.

I would be delighted to hear if this article helped you.

 

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