[ubuntu] Show applications command

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http://ubuntuforums.org – I am running ubuntu 12.10 with Gnome 3.60. I'm still fairly new to ubuntu and especially gnome. I would like to add a launcher to my desktop to show all installed applications instead of having to go thru activities and then to applications. I know how to create a launcher just need to know what the command ubuntu (or Gnome if it is Desktop specific) uses to bring up the application menu. any help is appreciated. and also if there is a terminal command to log the command sent when an icon is clicked that would help in the future. (Hardware)