A. Registered Categories

This section contains a number of well known categories and suggestions on how to use them. The list of Main Categories consist of those categories that every conforming desktop environment MUST support. By including one of these categories in an application's desktop entry file the application will be ensured that it will show up in a section of the application menu dedicated to this category. The list of Additional Categories provides categories that can be used to provide more fine grained information about the application. Additional Categories should always be used in combination with one of the Main Categories.

The table below lists all Main Categories. Note that category names are case-sensitive.

Main CategoryDescriptionNotes
AudioVideoA multimedia (audio/video) application 
AudioAn audio applicationDesktop entry must include AudioVideo as well
VideoA video applicationDesktop entry must include AudioVideo as well
DevelopmentAn application for development 
EducationEducational software 
GameA game 
GraphicsGraphical application 
NetworkNetwork application such as a web browser 
OfficeAn office type application 
SettingsSettings applicationsEntries may appear in a separate menu or as part of a "Control Center"
SystemSystem application, "System Tools" such as say a log viewer or network monitor 
UtilitySmall utility application, "Accessories" 

The table below describes Additional Categories. The Related Categories column lists one or more categories that are suggested to be used in conjunction with the Additional Category. Note that at least one Main Category must be included in the desktop entry's list of categories. If multiple Main Categories are included in a single desktop entry file, the entry may appear more than once in the menu. If the Related Categories column is blank, the Additional Category can be used with any Main Category.

Additional CategoryDescriptionRelated Categories
BuildingA tool to build applicationsDevelopment
DebuggerA tool to debug applicationsDevelopment
IDEIDE applicationDevelopment
GUIDesignerA GUI designer applicationDevelopment
ProfilingA profiling toolDevelopment
RevisionControlApplications like cvs or subversionDevelopment
TranslationA translation toolDevelopment
CalendarCalendar applicationOffice
ContactManagementE.g. an address bookOffice
DatabaseApplication to manage a databaseOffice or Development or AudioVideo
DictionaryA dictionaryOffice;TextTools
ChartChart applicationOffice
EmailEmail applicationOffice;Network
FinanceApplication to manage your financeOffice
FlowChartA flowchart applicationOffice
PDATool to manage your PDAOffice
ProjectManagementProject management applicationOffice;Development
PresentationPresentation softwareOffice
SpreadsheetA spreadsheetOffice
WordProcessorA word processorOffice
2DGraphics2D based graphical applicationGraphics
VectorGraphicsVector based graphical applicationGraphics;2DGraphics
RasterGraphicsRaster based graphical applicationGraphics;2DGraphics
3DGraphics3D based graphical applicationGraphics
ScanningTool to scan a file/textGraphics
OCROptical character recognition applicationGraphics;Scanning
PhotographyCamera tools, etc.Graphics or Office
PublishingDesktop Publishing applications and Color Management toolsGraphics or Office
ViewerTool to view e.g. a graphic or pdf fileGraphics or Office
TextToolsA text tool utiliyUtility
DesktopSettingsConfiguration tool for the GUISettings
HardwareSettingsA tool to manage hardware components, like sound cards, video cards or printersSettings
PrintingA tool to manage printersHardwareSettings;Settings
PackageManagerA package manager applicationSettings
DialupA dial-up programNetwork
InstantMessagingAn instant messaging clientNetwork
ChatA chat clientNetwork
IRCClientAn IRC clientNetwork
FileTransferTools like FTP or P2P programsNetwork
HamRadioHAM radio softwareNetwork or Audio
NewsA news reader or a news tickerNetwork
P2PA P2P programNetwork
RemoteAccessA tool to remotely manage your PCNetwork
TelephonyTelephony via PCNetwork
TelephonyToolsTelephony tools, to dial a number, manage PBX, ...Utility
VideoConferenceVideo Conference softwareNetwork
WebBrowserA web browserNetwork
WebDevelopmentA tool for web developersNetwork or Development
MidiAn app related to MIDIAudioVideo;Audio
MixerJust a mixerAudioVideo;Audio
SequencerA sequencerAudioVideo;Audio
TunerA tunerAudioVideo;Audio
TVA TV applicationAudioVideo;Video
AudioVideoEditingApplication to edit audio/video filesAudio or Video or AudioVideo
PlayerApplication to play audio/video filesAudio or Video or AudioVideo
RecorderApplication to record audio/video filesAudio or Video or AudioVideo
DiscBurningApplication to burn a discAudioVideo
ActionGameAn action gameGame
AdventureGameAdventure style gameGame
ArcadeGameArcade style gameGame
BoardGameA board gameGame
BlocksGameFalling blocks gameGame
CardGameA card gameGame
KidsGameA game for kidsGame
LogicGameLogic games like puzzles, etcGame
RolePlayingA role playing gameGame
SimulationA simulation gameGame
SportsGameA sports gameGame
StrategyGameA strategy gameGame
ArtSoftware to teach artsEducation
Construction Education
MusicMusical softwareAudioVideo;Education
LanguagesSoftware to learn foreign languagesEducation
ScienceScientific softwareEducation
ArtificialIntelligenceArtificial Intelligence softwareEducation;Science
AstronomyAstronomy softwareEducation;Science
BiologyBiology softwareEducation;Science
ChemistryChemistry softwareEducation;Science
ComputerScienceComputerSience softwareEducation;Science
DataVisualizationData visualization softwareEducation;Science
EconomyEconomy softwareEducation
ElectricityElectricity softwareEducation;Science
GeographyGeography softwareEducation
GeologyGeology softwareEducation;Science
GeoscienceGeoscience softwareEducation;Science
HistoryHistory softwareEducation
ImageProcessingImage Processing softwareEducation;Science
LiteratureLiterature softwareEducation
MathMath softwareEducation;Science
NumericalAnalysisNumerical analysis softwareEducation;Science;Math
MedicalSoftwareMedical softwareEducation;Science
PhysicsPhysics softwareEducation;Science
RoboticsRobotics softwareEducation;Science
SportsSports softwareEducation
ParallelComputingParallel computing softwareEducation;Science;ComputerScience
AmusementA simple amusement 
ArchivingA tool to archive/backup dataUtility
CompressionA tool to manage compressed data/archivesUtility;Archiving
ElectronicsElectronics software, e.g. a circuit designer 
EmulatorEmulator of another platform, such as a DOS emulatorSystem or Game
EngineeringEngineering software, e.g. CAD programs 
FileToolsA file tool utilityUtility or System
FileManagerA file managerSystem;FileTools
TerminalEmulatorA terminal emulator applicationSystem
FilesystemA file system toolSystem
MonitorMonitor application/applet that monitors some resource or activitySystem
SecurityA security toolSettings or System
AccessibilityAccessibilitySettings or Utility
CalculatorA calculatorUtility
ClockA clock application/appletUtility
TextEditorA text editorUtility
DocumentationHelp or documentation 
CoreImportant application, core to the desktop such as a file manager or a help browser 
KDEApplication based on KDE librariesQT
GNOMEApplication based on GNOME librariesGTK
GTKApplication based on GTK+ libraries 
QtApplication based on Qt libraries 
MotifApplication based on Motif libraries 
JavaApplication based on Java GUI libraries, such as AWT or Swing 
ConsoleOnlyApplication that only works inside a terminal (text-based or command line application) 

The table below describes Reserved Categories. Reserved Categories have a specific desktop specific meaning that has not been standardized (yet). Desktop entry files that use a reserved category MUST also include an appropriate OnlyShowIn= entry to restrict themselves to those environments that properly support the reserved category as used.

Reserved CategoryDescription
ScreensaverA screen saver (launching this desktop entry should activate the screen saver)
TrayIconAn application that is primarily an icon for the "system tray" or "notification area" (apps that open a normal window and just happen to have a tray icon as well should not list this category)
AppletAn applet that will run inside a panel or another such application, likely desktop specific
ShellA shell (an actual specific shell such as bash or tcsh, not a TerminalEmulator)