Tag Archives: Desktop

Executable application launcher

Under Linux we are creating launchers for our applications according to the Freedesktop Desktop Entry Specification. With recent versions of Gnome or KDE we get the following launcher:

Untrusted application launcher

Untrusted application launcher

When the launcher is clicked, it is asked whether the application should be trusted.

Why? Because recently the desktop environment developers became aware of the following problem:

Some browser like Firefox are saving files to the desktop. When someone is now providing a link to a file with a .desktop extension, it would appear as a desktop launcher on the desktop. Without any problem it could look like a arbitrary starter e.g. for Firefox (provided the according image like /usr/share/pixmaps/firefox-3.0.png can be correctly guessed) but do something completely different and possibly malignant.

Therefore in recent version of GNOME and KDE the desktop launchers need to have execute permissions (which is not preserved for downloaded files). Then they look and act again as normal:

Executable application launcher

Executable application launcher

So don’t forget to give your desktop launchers execute permissions! 🙂