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I attempted to create a desktop icon in Fedora Gnome but I only get a generic binary icon for my application. Installing Gimp or OpenOffice magically makes my icon appear.

I used Google Chrome on Fedora as an reference for making a desktop icon using png images. Google Chrome uses 32-bit PNG files in /usr/share/icons/hicolor/#x#/apps/google-chrome.png, where #x# is the various resolutions: 16x16, 22x22, 24x24, 32x32, 48x48, 64x64, 128x128, and 256x256. The permissions on these files were all 0644 or -rw-r--r--. Google places their google-chrome.desktop file in /usr/local/share/applications/ with permission 0644.


I copied all of these conditions except the location of the .desktop file:

  • my-app.desktop file was placed in /usr/share/applications with permission 0644
  • All png files were saved as 32-bit images and properly located in /usr/share/icons/hicolor/#x#/apps with permission 0644
  • My desktop file is as follows:


[Desktop Entry]
GenericName=My Application
Comment=Test Application


Navigating to /usr/share/applications my my-app.desktop file looks like a plain file:
enter image description here

In the Gnome desktop menu, my application looks like a generic binary file:
enter image description here

Installing Gimp or OpenOffice will make my icon appear as intended without modification to the my-app.desktop file or the png files.

I have tried the following different things to solve the problem:

  • Changing Icon=my-app.png to Icon=my-app in my-app.desktop
  • Saving the PNG files as 24-bit
share|improve this question
Can you upload the problematic PNG file somewhere? – njsg Jun 19 '12 at 18:33
up vote 4 down vote accepted

what does ~/.xsession-errors say? Does it hint on the error that a validation would give?

What does desktop-file-validate say?

It should say something like this:

sm.desktop: error: (will be fatal in the future): value "sm.png" for key "Icon" in group "Desktop Entry" is an icon name with an extension, but there should be no extension as described in the Icon Theme Specification if the value is not an absolute path

Edit: Here's what the desktop file looks like fixed:

[Desktop Entry]
GenericName=My Application
Comment=Test Application
share|improve this answer
Thanks for the input. I wasn't able to discern if any of the information in ~/.xsession-errors was related to my problem. However running desktop-file-validation showed the error you mentioned plus 2 more errors. As mentioned in my question, I already tried removing the extention and still got the same problem. However I'll try rectifying the other two errors and let you know if that works. The other two errors were caused by a missing semicolon ; at the end of MimeType and Categories. – Daniel K Jun 20 '12 at 14:09
Just verified it to be working. Removing the image extension and adding a semicolon at the end of MimeType and Categories did the trick. I've modified your answer to include the fixed desktop file. Thanks! – Daniel K Jun 20 '12 at 15:19
My images were jpg, I had to convert them to png and remove the filename extension (no absolute path was given). But two of the apps I’ve created still don’t show their icon. – erik Jun 18 '15 at 16:05

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