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Custom Linux Desktop Launcher Actions

On many Linux environments, you can add custom entries to its launcher by modifying the .desktop file. For Canonical’s Unity documentation, see Adding Shortcuts to a Launcher. For details on a more generic implementation, see the freedesktop.org Specification.

Launcher shortcuts of Audacious:


Generally speaking, shortcuts are added by providing a Name and Exec property for each entry in the shortcuts menu. Unity will execute the Exec field once clicked by the user. The format is as follows:


[Desktop Action PlayPause]
Exec=audacious -t

[Desktop Action Next]
Exec=audacious -f

[Desktop Action Previous]
Exec=audacious -r

Unity’s preferred way of telling your application what to do is to use parameters. You can find these in your app in the global variable process.argv.