I'm trying to integrate my JS code with unity using low level dbus messaging. I'm able to set launcher icon properties (progress, count, menu etc) for known .desktop files ( for example, "gnome-terminal.desktop" ) Also, I can create my own .desktop file, but it's only visible in launcher if I drag & drop it from /usr/share/applications onto launcher. If I just click on .desktop file, new window causes opening new entry on launcher not associated with that .desktop file. I think I'm missing some step where I tell some service ( Registrar? ) that the window I created is part of my .desktop

script started by clicking on desktop icon (no .desktop icon in launcher menu, "unknown icon" window icon for new window: screen shot 2014-09-30 at 12 36 50 pm

Drag & drop .desktop file to launcher. Now have two icons, and results of LauncherEntry progress updates visible on the first one. screen shot 2014-09-30 at 12 37 51 pm

So the question is "how do I tell unity that my window belongs to that .desktop file"

my script and .desktop file: https://gist.github.com/sidorares/8d0587e384176f1be83d (I'm using node-x11, node-dbus and node-dbusmenu)


1 Answer 1


Found answer by looking at bamf source - you need to set _NET_WM_DESKTOP_FILE property to be full path to desktop file.

  • Thanks Andrey very much for this question and solution. So if I change the desktop file to be full path, then it will change the icon in the launcher right away? And will _NET_WM_ICON propery have to be set to change the icon in the alt+tab panel?
    – Noitidart
    Nov 25, 2014 at 1:16
  • Hi @AndreySidorov I have a desktop.file that launches a window. The iconpath is a name in the themes i added, its name is "profilist_beta". I overwrite the icons in the /home/noit/share/icons/hicons/##_##/apps/profilist_beta.png and then the desktop file on the desktop refreshes the icon, however the alt+tab and unity bar dont take the menu. Will this solution you shared, of setting the _NET_WM_DESKTOP_FILE to the path of the desktop file make the windows take?
    – Noitidart
    Jan 10, 2015 at 8:02
  • here is a screencast of my dilemma. It also shows a smaller issue in that the desktop file icon does not update till I click/select the icon. Youtube :: Delay Dynamically Updating Desktop File and Dependents
    – Noitidart
    Jan 10, 2015 at 8:31
  • For the issue where the icon doesnt update of the desktop file till you click the desktop file or select it. I found clicking on a file epxlorer window also updates the desktop file icon. Just wanted to let you know in case it would give you better understandng :)
    – Noitidart
    Jan 10, 2015 at 9:18
  • 1
    don't know :) try and see Mar 5, 2015 at 1:45

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