desktop entry files and directories

Bastian, Waldo waldo.bastian at
Tue May 2 21:43:41 EEST 2006

It's not entirely clear to me what you try to achieve here. That said...
"Directory" type .desktop files are used by the application menu to
provide a title and icon for sub-menus. KDE also uses them to provide a
title and icon for sub-directories when used in the file system. In
these cases the .desktop file should be named ".directory" and it
describes the directory it is placed in. That kind of usage is not
covered by any XDG specification though, so your milage will vary.

Waldo Bastian
Linux Client Architect - Client Linux Foundation Technology
Channel Platform Solutions Group
Intel Corporation -
OSDL DTL Tech Board Chairman

>-----Original Message-----
>From: xdg-bounces at [mailto:xdg-
>bounces at] On Behalf Of Jaap Karssenberg
>Sent: Tuesday, May 02, 2006 7:07 AM
>To: xdg at
>Subject: desktop entry files and directories
>Hi all,
>As an application developer I'm looking for a suggestions on the
>following problem: my application works on directories with files
>collections of text files) and I need a way to open these directories
>using my application from the file manager. Some file managers use the
>inode/directory mimetype for this but the use not transparent and does
>not completely solve my problem. The reason this does not work
>completely is that my application can open _certain_ directories, but
>not all directories. Ultimately what I might be looking for is a
>mechanism to have types of directories, just like mimetypes define
>of files, but that may be to much to ask within the current body of
>As an alternative I'm looking into using desktop entry files, or a
>similar format, as placeholders for the directories (I could add my
>application config for the dir as an extension). There is a "Directory"
>type desktop file but the specification doesn't say anything about it's
>usage; also the spec doesn't give a field to give a location for the
>directory type, I assume that it always refers to it's current
>directory. Could anybody enlighten me on the usage of this type of
>desktop entry ? Also how would a "Directory" type desktop file be
>if you click it ?
>Also any other suggestions to solve my problem in an elegant and
>compatible way would be much appreciated :)
>-- Jaap Karsseberg <pardus at>
>xdg mailing list
>xdg at

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