Desktop Entry Standard: Path key

David Faure dfaure at
Thu Jun 26 08:21:34 PDT 2008 brings me to posting this mail here.

As far as I can see there is no support for expanding environment variables in the desktop entry standard?
This is a problem for the "roaming user" feature: a user should be able to use software that creates
config files and desktop files, and then move his home somewhere else and the software should keep working.
Is there a solution for this problem (especially for desktop files) in other environments at the moment?

In KDE we support Key[$e]=$HOME/Documents  where the $e modifier means "expand env vars".
This works fine in kconfig files, but for the Path key of desktop files, this is a violation of the desktop
entry standard; more precisely it doesn't work in other environments.

Assuming a more complete specification of this [$e] thing (I'd have to ask our KConfig guys),
is this a solution that would seem acceptable for the Desktop Entry Standard?

In KDE 3 we would simply use env vars and expand env vars in the Path key, without requiring [$e],
but that was even more broken and non-interoperable, and we decided to be more strict about
this stuff in KDE 4, so nowadays [$e] is required for this behavior.

David Faure, faure at, sponsored by Trolltech to work on KDE,
Konqueror (, and KOffice (

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