Integrating TopCoder Arena in Ubuntu Menu

Are you a regular competitor of TopCoder SRMs? If yes, then probably you have been launching the Arena by (double) clicking a sacred file named ContestAppletProd.jnlp somewhere in your computer. You must have been doing that every time you want to participate in an SRM.

I felt that looking for that file before every SRM is quite tedious, and putting the file in my desktop is not an elegant way. So, I added a launcher to TopCoder Arena in Ubuntu GNOME menu. It is very handy, so I would like to share how to do that. In this tutorial, I am using Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal.

First things first:

Now let’s add TopCoder to Ubuntu menu.

  • Right-click GNOME menu, and click Edit Menus. A new window will appear.
  • Select Programming, and then click New Item. Enter these details:
    • Type: Application
    • Name: TopCoder Arena
    • Comment: Launch TopCoder Arena (or anything you want)
  • Enter the following into the Command field. Of course, enter your own path to ContestAppletProd.jnlp.
    javaws “/home/fushar/TC/ContestAppletProd.jnlp”
    (You could also use full path for javaws if you install several versions of Java.) 
  • If you want an icon for the menu, then download this image, save it somewhere, click the icon button in the left, and then select the image. The image is basically a JPG-converted image from TopCoder website’s favicon.
  • Click Close.

Done! You should be able to see the new menu in Applications -> Programming. From now on, you can forget where you place the ContestAppletProd.jnlp file, and run the Arena directly from Ubuntu menu instead.

Bonus tip: If you add -Xnosplash before the ContestAppletProd.jnlp path, like this:
javaws -Xnosplash “/home/fushar/TC/ContestAppletProd.jnlp”
then the Java splash logo will not appear before the Arena loads.

Try this! I would love to hear how this tutorial helps you guys 🙂

About Ashar Fuadi

Ashar Fuadi is a competitive programmer from University of Indonesia. He loves to code, especially for TopCoder SRM, Codeforces, and ICPC.
Follow Ashar on Google+ and Twitter.


  1. Thank you for the tip! If someone does not know how to find javaws on your linux pc try this command: which javaws 🙂

    • Yes, that will also work. It will output a link to javaws, usually “/usr/bin/javaws”. You may use it instead of the real path.

  2. Nice tutorial, kk! I’ve been trying to find out how to run my TC Applet directly from my desktop, and never suceeded until now. I hope this tips can motivate me to consistently participate in the SRMs (before, i was very lazy to do so 😀 ). Anyway, thanks for the tip!

  3. Really helping! Thanks a lot!

  4. sarkar says:

    command section from launcher properties is not clear to me what will be the directory if jnlp file is on Desktop

  5. Kaustubh says:

    Thanks a lot!! That really helped 😀

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