Application launch files
1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Thu Apr 28 23:52:25 BST 2011
John Woodhouse posted on Thu, 28 Apr 2011 05:40:37 -0700 as excerpted:
> style="font-family:"times new roman", "new york", "times",
> serif;font-size:12pt"><div>I had problems with an application launch the
> other day. Soon found the .desktop files after noticing that a right
> click on the launch point didn't offer properties as per 3x. Also
> noticed that the content of the .desktop files looks to have
> changed.<br></div><div><br></div><div>Is this facility available via any
> other route?</div><div><br></div><div>How can .desktop file be generated
> and icons changed etc ?</div><div><br></div><div>Where can I find the
> doc on the .desktop file entries
> ?</div><div><br></div><div>John</div><div>Sorry about all of this email
> changing, should have gone here in the 1st
> place.</div><div><br></div><div>KDE 4.6.0 issue 6 on opensuse 11.4
Please don't post HTML to the mailing lists. Some of us choose to use
clients configured to display it as plain-text-only, for security or
simplicity reasons. It can be said that folks posting in HTML are one of
five kinds, (1) spammers who simply don't care and/or often use the HTML
to hide some of their tricks, (2) malware spammers trying to use the HTML
to exploit security vulns in specific HTML parsing clients, (3) newbie
types not aware of the issues and of the strong reaction against HTML
based on the above, (4) users who ordinarily wouldn't /think/ of posting
in HTML but using an unfamiliar client that they've not fully setup, who
thus post in it accidentally, unaware that they are doing so until someone
points it out, as I'm doing here. (This category may be considered part
of #3 as they're newbies to their current client settings.) (5) People who
choose to post in HTML simply to troll. This might be fine for those who
tend to answer more questions than they ask, but isn't a particularly good
strategy for those asking questions themselves, as some that might
otherwise reply with a useful answer will instead simply ignore the troll.
Depending on your client, you may see part or all of the scrambled mess
that results, above.
*.desktop files are normally simply plain-text files in the *.ini format
MS Windows 3 made famous, sections denoted by
[titles in brackets]
# blank lines ignored but normally separating sections, etc.
# The traditional *ix extension: comments starting with a hash
In the context of *.desktop files, each key=value line describes a
particular bit of information about the service in question, its type
(executable, service, etc), title in various languages, short and long
descriptions, representative icon, whether it should be displayed in all
*.desktop spec compatible environments or only one (kde only, for
Do note that because a *.desktop file can describe something to be
executed with an icon and description that can be crafted to deceive the
unwary user, there are potential security implications with allowing them
to be placed just anywhere by anything, and executed without restriction.
As a result, more modern *.desktop spec compatible environments often
place some restriction on the execution of *.desktop files located in
standard places such as the desktop directory, especially if they're user-
The cooperative specification is managed by freedesktop.org, which has the
various versions available for viewing.
There are also tools available for verifying the format, etc. warning
about missing quotes, semicolons, missing lines that should be found in a
*.desktop file of a particular type, etc, and for managing installation of
such files. These tools are shipped in a package called
"desktop-file-utils" or similar ("desktop-file-utils" is the name on
Gentoo, which I use).
Duncan - List replies preferred. No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master." Richard Stallman
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