The user in which I installed the Mathematica is removed. There I could launch Mathematica by double-clicking its icon as well as any .nb file.

Now that I'm in a new user, for some reason the Mathematica icon is not even in the Application menu and double-clicking .nb file returns "Could not display 'xxx.nb'." and asks me to search online the software to link .nb file, which brings me nowhere.

I can still launch Mathematica via terminal command "math" or "mathematica" etc., but I wish I could just double-click launch from the desktop environment.

Debian 11 + gnome 3.38.6

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Not sure this is related to Mathematica though. I suspect you'll have to somehow associate the nb extension to the appropriate program using your OS features. $\endgroup$
    – MarcoB
    Commented Dec 23, 2021 at 2:24
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Gnome wants you to install the *.desktop file for the application icon to appear. An example .desktop file can be found in MMA 12 with FileNames["wolfram-mathematic12.desktop", $InstallationDirectory, Infinity]. A copy of this file may be located elsewhere on your system. The man pages for the desktop-file-install and the update-desktop-database programs may be helpful. $\endgroup$
    – LouisB
    Commented Dec 23, 2021 at 3:35
  • $\begingroup$ @LouisB Thanks, that worked easy! $\endgroup$
    – user28936
    Commented Dec 23, 2021 at 3:55

1 Answer 1


I found and copied the file wolfram-mathematica12.desktop in the Mathematica installation directory /usr/local/Wolfram/Mathematica/12.3/SystemFiles/Installation/ and simply pasted to /usr/share/applications. Problem solved!

Credit goes to this comment.


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