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Where are the Unity Launcher .desktop files?

I searched for a .desktop file for supermeatboy since it wasn't in /usr/share/applications/ . So I used the Terminal:

chocobai@desktoppc:/$ locate *.desktop | grep -iR "meat"
/home/chocobai/.gnome/apps/supermeatboy_com-supermeatboy_1.desktop
/home/chocobai/.local/share/applications/supermeatboy_com-supermeatboy_1.desktop
/home/chocobai/.supermeatboygame/.mojosetup/supermeatboy_com-supermeatboy_1.desktop

I guess the Installer did this because of backward compatibility. How does Unity handle these Files? Specifically, which folders does it watch? Why don't they need to be executeable? Why isn't there only one folder like /usr/share/applications/ to hold .desktop files?

I found many answers to similar questions, sounding like

"It should be in /usr/share/applications, but if it's not there, just type in the terminal..."

and so on. But that never answered the question of how Unity handles (finds, searches) these files. Thanks in advance.

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marked as duplicate by Jorge Castro, Takkat, Tom Brossman, Mik, Anwar Shah Sep 22 '12 at 21:21

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1 Answer 1

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which folders does it watch?

Usually Unity searches .desktop files in /usr/share/applications and ~/.local/share/applications. But there are other directories too containing .desktop files, such as /etc/xdg/autostart )

Why don't they need to be executeable?

Those files need not to be executables because, those files contains instruction to execute other files. There is a line with Exec=..... to do the job.

Why isn't there only one folder like /usr/share/applications/ to hold .desktop files?

Because, it provide greater flexibility to seperate user programs and system programs. You can install softwares or have customized options for a specific software without harming all the other users or modifying default options.

The .desktop files in your home directory have higher priority than the files in system directories (such as /usr/share/applications). For this reason, if you customize a .desktop file to not to show in KDE menu creating a .desktop file in your home dir (~/.local/share/applications) with the same name, the option in your .desktop file will override the system option and that application won't be displayed on KDE menu.

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