Startup notification

Although the fields shown in Section 1.1 ― Desktop files: putting your application in the desktop menus provide enough information for the desktop to recognize your application, there are other fields that may be useful for your particular case. One of these fields is startup notification.

When startup notification is set, the panel and cursor notifies the user that the application has started. When the application appears onscreen, the panel and cursor return to normal.

To let the launcher know your application supports startup notification, add the following line to your desktop file:


This command in the desktop file enables the desktop to use whatever startup notification is built in to either your application or your toolkit. Most modern toolkits work transparently with the startup notification system. If you are not using a modern toolkit, the Startup Notification Spec has the details that you need to implement it yourself.

Regardless of toolkit, there is one type of application where you would have to manually handle feedback. Applications with remoting capabilities (where you tell an existing process to open a new window instead of starting a new process) cannot use the built-in mechanism. The value of the DESKTOP_LAUNCH_ID environment has to be passed by your application and have it notify the launching system of your new window. If you are using GTK+, the documentation for gdk_notify_startup_complete() has a bit more information.

2.1.1. References

Startup Notification Protocol — Describes the low-level details of how startup notification is implemented in the X Window System.