Desktop Entry Specification

Preston Brown


Jonathan Blandford


Owen Taylor


Vincent Untz


Waldo Bastian


Ryan Lortie


David Faure


Version 1.1

1 Apr 2014

Table of Contents

Basic format of the file
Group headers
Possible value types
Localized values for keys
Recognized desktop entry keys
The Exec key
D-Bus Activation
Registering MIME Types
Additional applications actions
Action identifier
Action keys
Implementation notes
Extending the format
A. Example Desktop Entry File
B. Currently reserved for use within KDE
C. Deprecated Items
D. The Legacy-Mixed Encoding (Deprecated)
E. Desktop File ID


Both the KDE and GNOME desktop environments have adopted a similar format for "desktop entries", or configuration files describing how a particular program is to be launched, how it appears in menus, etc. It is to the larger community's benefit that a unified standard be agreed upon by all parties such that interoperation between the two environments, and indeed any additional environments that implement the specification, becomes simpler.