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How To Set App Icon in Ubuntu Touch Application’s .desktop File

Ubuntu 19

In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of setting an app icon in the .desktop file of an Ubuntu Touch application. This is a crucial step in customizing your application and making it stand out in the Ubuntu Touch interface.

Quick Answer

To set an app icon in the .desktop file of an Ubuntu Touch application, you need to update the Icon field in the .desktop file with the correct path to the icon file. Make sure your icon file is a png image and preferably 512×512 pixels in size. After updating the .desktop file, refresh the Unity Launcher for the changes to take effect.

Understanding the .desktop File

Before diving into the process, it’s essential to understand what a .desktop file is. A .desktop file is a standard for defining how a particular program is to be launched in a Linux/Unix desktop environment. It provides a consistent way to tell the desktop environment how the application should be displayed, how it should be categorized, and how it should be launched.

The .desktop file contains several settings, one of which is the Icon field. This field is used to specify the icon that represents the application in the Ubuntu Touch interface.

Preparing Your Icon File

First, you need to have your icon file ready. The icon file should be a png image. The recommended size for the icon is 512×512 pixels. You can create your icon using any graphic design tool. Once your icon is ready, save it as launcher.png.

Setting the Icon in the .desktop File

The process of setting the icon in the .desktop file involves updating the Icon field with the correct path to the icon file. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Locate Your .desktop File The .desktop file is usually located in the root directory of your application. Navigate to this directory using the terminal. You can use the cd command for this purpose:
    cd /path/to/your/application
  2. Open the .desktop File Open the .desktop file in a text editor. You can use the nano command for this purpose:
    nano application.desktop
  3. Update the Icon Field In the .desktop file, find the Icon field and update it with the path to your icon file. If the icon file is in the same directory as your .desktop file, you can use a relative path:
    Icon=./launcher.png
    If the icon file is located elsewhere on your system, use an absolute path:
    Icon=/path/to/launcher.png
  4. Save and Close the .desktop File After updating the Icon field, save the changes and close the file. In the nano text editor, you can do this by pressing Ctrl + X, then Y to confirm saving the changes, and finally Enter to exit.

Refreshing the Unity Launcher

After setting the icon in the .desktop file, you need to refresh the Unity Launcher for the changes to take effect. You can do this by logging out and logging back in, or by restarting the Unity shell with the following command:

unity --replace &

Conclusion

Setting an app icon in the .desktop file of an Ubuntu Touch application is a straightforward process. It involves preparing your icon file, locating your .desktop file, updating the Icon field with the path to your icon file, and refreshing the Unity Launcher. By following these steps, you can customize your application and make it stand out in the Ubuntu Touch interface.

Remember, the path to the icon file should be accessible to the application when it is running. Also, ensure that you have the necessary permissions to read the icon file. If you encounter any issues with the icon not being displayed, check the file permissions and adjust them if needed.

For more information on .desktop files and their usage, you can visit the official GNOME documentation.

What is a .desktop file?

A .desktop file is a standard for defining how a particular program is to be launched in a Linux/Unix desktop environment. It provides a consistent way to tell the desktop environment how the application should be displayed, how it should be categorized, and how it should be launched.

What is the purpose of the `Icon` field in a .desktop file?

The Icon field in a .desktop file is used to specify the icon that represents the application in the Ubuntu Touch interface.

What format should the icon file be in?

The icon file should be in the .png format.

What is the recommended size for the icon file?

The recommended size for the icon file is 512×512 pixels.

How do I update the `Icon` field in the .desktop file?

To update the Icon field, open the .desktop file in a text editor, find the Icon field, and update it with the path to your icon file. Use a relative path if the icon file is in the same directory as the .desktop file, or use an absolute path if the icon file is located elsewhere on your system.

How do I refresh the Unity Launcher after updating the .desktop file?

To refresh the Unity Launcher, you can either log out and log back in, or you can restart the Unity shell by running the command unity --replace &.

Where can I find more information on .desktop files?

For more information on .desktop files and their usage, you can visit the official GNOME documentation.

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