The xdg-desktop-icon program can be used to install an application launcher or other file on the desktop of the current user.
An application launcher is represented by a *.desktop file. Desktop files are defined by the freedesktop.org Desktop Entry Specification. The most important aspects of *.desktop files are summarized below.
to the desktop of the current user.
can be a *.desktop file or any other type of file.
from the desktop of the current user.
Normally, xdg-desktop-icon checks to ensure that a *.desktop file to be installed has a vendor prefix. This option can be used to disable that check.
A vendor prefix consists of alpha characters ([a-zA-Z]) and is terminated with a dash ("-"). Companies and organizations are encouraged to use a word or phrase, preferably the organizations name, for which they hold a trademark as their vendor prefix. The purpose of the vendor prefix is to prevent name conflicts.
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An application launcher can be added to the desktop by installing a *.desktop file. A *.desktop file consists of a
header followed by several
A *.desktop file can provide a name and description for an application in several different languages. This is done by adding a language code as used by LC_MESSAGES in square brackets behind the
Key. This way one can specify different values for the same
depending on the currently selected language.
The following keys are often used:
This is a mandatory field to indicate that the *.desktop file follows the 1.0 version of the specification.
This is a mandatory field that indicates that the *.desktop file describes an application launcher.
- Name=Application Name
The name of the application. For example
- GenericName=Generic Name
A generic description of the application. For example
Optional field to specify a tooltip for the application. For example
Visit websites on the Internet
- Icon=Icon File
The icon to use for the application. This can either be an absolute path to an image file or an icon-name. If an icon-name is provided an image lookup by name is done in the user's current icon theme. The
command can be used to install image files into icon themes. The advantage of using an icon-name instead of an absolute path is that with an icon-name the application icon can be provided in several different sizes as well as in several differently themed styles.
- Exec=Command Line
The command line to start the application. If the application can open files the %f placeholder should be specified. When a file is dropped on the application launcher the %f is replaced with the file path of the dropped file. If multiple files can be specified on the command line the %F placeholder should be used instead of %f. If the application is able to open URLs in addition to local files then %u or %U can be used instead of %f or %F.
For a complete oveview of the *.desktop file format please visit http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Standards/desktop-entry-spec
xdg-desktop-icon honours the following environment variables:
Setting this environment variable to a non-zero numerical value makes xdg-desktop-icon do more verbose reporting on stderr. Setting a higher value increases the verbosity.
An exit code of 0 indicates success while a non-zero exit code indicates failure. The following failure codes can be returned:
Error in command line syntax.
One of the files passed on the command line did not exist.
A required tool could not be found.
The action failed.
No permission to read one of the files passed on the command line.
The company ShinyThings Inc. has developed an application named "WebMirror" and would like to add a launcher for for on the desktop. The company will use "shinythings" as its vendor id. In order to add the application to the desktop there needs to be a .desktop file for the application:
Now the xdg-desktop-icon tool can be used to add the webmirror.desktop file to the desktop:
xdg-desktop-icon install ./shinythings-webmirror.desktop
To add a README file to the desktop as well, the following command can be used:
xdg-desktop-icon install ./shinythings-README
Kevin Krammer, Jeremy White.
- DESKTOP FILES
- ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES
- EXIT CODES
- SEE ALSO
This document was created by
using the manual pages.
Time: 03:41:18 GMT, September 24, 2010