KDE's Desktop peripheral icons

Nicolas Ouellette nicolas.ouellette at sympatico.ca
Tue Apr 8 22:08:43 BST 2008

Le April 8, 2008 05:13:58 am Anne Wilson, vous avez écrit :
> On Monday 07 April 2008 17:21:44 Nicolas Ouellette wrote:
> > Hi there,
> >
> >  I'm new to this list, and I'm not where where to send this mail, cos' I
> > don't know if my problem is distro specific or not, so don't be too harsh
> > on me... :)
> >
> > I use KDE 3.5.9 on Kubuntu 8.04 for AMD64.
> >
> >  When I plug a USB device in my computer, wether a digital camera, a usb
> > pendrive, or PDA, the icons all appear on my desktop as generic
> > usbpendrives. (see screenshot : actual_kde_media_icons.png). Now, I would
> > like to change these icons to reflect what's plugged in, i.e.: a digital
> > camera icon for my digital camera, an ipod icon for my mp3 player, a usb
> > key icon for my usb key, and a memory card icon for my PDA's memory card
> > (screenshot:
> > wished_kde_media_icons.png). Simple, no? As you see, only the digital
> > camera icon is changed to the "wished" one. I would like to do the same
> > for all USB icons.
> >
> > I know that in GNOME, it's possible to simply change the icons directly
> > from the desktop (I did it yesterday...), as shown in the screenshot
> > gnome_media_icons.png.
> >
> > In KDE, it doesn't seem to be so simple. Right clicking on a Desktop icon
> > and changing its icon will not work, nor while navigating in media:/.
> From the manual -
> Below these options you can see a list titled Show Icon Previews For. The
> KDE desktop has a preview feature for many file types, including HTML
> files, images, PostScript® and PDF, sound, web archives (if you have the
> appropriate Konqueror plugin installed) and text files.
> if you enable previews for one of these, files of that particular file type
> will not be represented by standard icons on the desktop, but will instead
> be shown as miniature previews. On slow computers, the previews can take
> some time to show up, so you might not want to enable this feature.
> Finally there is Display device icons:.
> On some operating systems (Linux® and FreeBSD, so far) KDE can dynamically
> display icons for each mountable device you have available. This could be
> CD-ROM drives, floppy disk drives, or network shares.
> If you enable this, you can choose what kind, if any, of these devices you
> would like quick access icons to be displayed for.
> To me, that suggests that it may not be possible to do what you want.  I
> suspect, though, that the real problem is the way the devices communicate
> their info.  Obviously gnome is reading it, so it is there, but it must be
> in a form inaccessible to kde.  I say this because I have some pen drives
> that do at least give the name of the device, but some appear as a
> pen-drive of that name, and some as a camera of the correct name.
> Guesswork, but it may give you some ideas to work on.
> Anne

Thanks for your advice. I found that I could fiddle with the *.desktop files 
in /usr/share/mimelnk/media/, but changing the icons in one of those files 
doesn't help me much. 

I thought that I could add more .desktop files in this directory (for example, 
ipod.desktop, pda.desktop, and so on...), but I'm not sure how to do this. I 
guess I'll have to sitck with the actual behavior and hope it will be 
implemented in the future.

Thanks anyway!


Nicolas Ouellette
B.A., Philosophie, DESSEC
Registered linux user #368073
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