[kde-linux] Why are taskbar icons sometimes a big X?

Larry Alkoff labradley at mindspring.com
Sun Jul 16 20:57:21 UTC 2006

Larry Alkoff wrote:
> James Richard Tyrer wrote:
>> Larry Alkoff wrote:
>>> Chris Peterman wrote:
>>>> On Saturday 15 July 2006 01:04, Larry Alkoff wrote:
>>>>> I have some programs that have perfectly good icons on the desktop
>>>>> but when I open them, the icon in the task bar box is a large X that
>>>>> looks hand drawn.
>>>>> A good case in point is Thunderbird which has a lovely icon of an
>>>>> envelope in version that appears in the desktop boxes as a big
>>>>> hand drawn X.
>>>>> By taskbar I mean the boxes for each desktop that typically show the
>>>>> program icon.  Please correct my nomenclature so I can call it correctly.
>>>>> How can I get the normal desktop icon to display there like other apps?
>>>>> Larry
>>>> Only thing I can think of is that the icons you want to use don't have 
>>>> versions in the size that is needed. 
>>>> As an example, take a look in your ~/.icons (thats where they are put for like 
>>>> GNOME and XFCE, and KDE also looks there for them) and look in one of the 
>>>> theme folders, you will see a bunch of folders named 12x12, 64x64, etc, which 
>>>> are all the sizes that the icons may be needed in. Now if you can get your 
>>>> hands on a SVG version of the icon, KDE should take care of the resize by 
>>>> itself (SHOULD, I don't know how well SVG Icon Support is in KDE or anything 
>>>> else for that matter). Otherwise just make a copy of the icon in those pixel 
>>>> sizes (any image program should be able to handle it).
>>>> I hope that made sense :D
>>> Thanks for your reply Chris.
>>> I have more information now.
>>> There is no ~/.icon folder but I think I'll make one and hard link any 
>>> useful icons found so they won't get lost.
>>> The locate program tells me that there are Thunderbird icons (and 
>>> others) scattered in quite a few directories in my Ubuntu system - it's 
>>> very confusing.
>>> There are 12 icons of various sizes in /usr/share/pixmaps.
>>> They come only in 32x32 and 48x48 in either .png and .xpm plus a much 
>>> larger size in .svg (no size available probably because they are scalable).
>>> How can I tell _exactly_ which icon is on the desktop?  Is there a program?
>>> There is a text file about the desktop icon in ~/Desktop but it only 
>>> lists the name, not size or path.  From the name 
>>> "mozilla-thunderbird-menu" I infer it must be either a 32x32 .xpm or .png.
>>> I've created another line in ~/Desktop to create another desktop icon 
>>> named 'Thunderbird Mail orig.desktop' and am going to experiment on the 
>>> original icon,
>>> first with a .svg but also .xpm and .png to see how they behave.
>>> Again, I really need a program that tells me the path and size of an 
>>> existing icon.
>> With Thunderbird and Firefox, this isn't the problem.  This is a
>> developer level question that I don't have the exact answer for.
>> However, I can tell you how to fix it.  Open the 'desktop' file for 
>> Thunderbird and first make sure that it contains:
>> 	Icon=thunderbird
>> If so, are you getting the correct icon in the menu?  If so, you can fix 
>> the problem by changing this line:
>> 	Exec=thunderbird %i
>> Adding the "%i" will force KDE to use the menu icon for the TaskBar and 
>> in the KWin window decorations.
> Thanks for the advice James but it didn't use the same icon on the 
> taskbar Desktop window.
> I added " %i" to the end of the command line of the Thunderbird _icon_ 
> which had the effect of changing the Exec line in the ~/Desktop file as 
> you have specified above.  However, the icon now appears as something 
> that looks like two blank desktops one on top of the other at a 45 
> degree angle.  Is this what you called the "menu icon"?  It's no longer 
> a big X but I'd really like it to be the same as the Desktop icon.
> Where do you find documentation on this stuff?
> Larry

First I was mistaken about the " %i" effect.  There was none - I was 
seeing the normal icon that appears when you mouse over the Desktop icon 
on the taskbar, but below that was the big X for Thunderbird.

I found documentation on %i and other stuff in 
under 'List of valid Exec parameter variables'.

Finally I noticed that Opera's icon was acting normally with permissions 
644 user:user and Thunderbird's icon was 644 root:root.  So I changed 
Thunderbird's icon to 644 owner:owner and restarted it but no change in 
behavior - still the big X.


Larry Alkoff N2LA - Austin TX
Using Thunderbird on Linux

More information about the kde-linux mailing list