Following the lessons learned here, I tried to add an icon to SoulSeek, the file sharing network. The problem is, different from RStudio which has a png file in one of its directories, SoulSeek runs from a single file.

However, when running from a link (created with the Make Link option in the context menu of the binary file), the running app has its default icon (a blue ghostly figure, visible in the launcher bar and when I press Alt+Tab).

On the other hand, the soulseek.desktop file I've created in /usr/share/applications/, though launching the app from the Super key (it didn't before), launches it with no icon at all.

These are the contents of soulseek.desktop:

[Desktop Entry]
Comment=Free file sharing network

If I remove the Icon key, I get the default binary icon. How to include the "blue ghost" default app icon, that seems encoded inside the binary?

  • @don_crissti Good option, but an universal solution (valid for other software) would be preferable.
    – Rodrigo
    Jan 24, 2017 at 20:03
  • Yeah @don_crissti. But thinking the other way around, if Debian already know how to extract the icon from the binary (after all it's shown in the Alt+Tab), why not use this knowledge to show it in the launcher too?
    – Rodrigo
    Jan 25, 2017 at 0:50

1 Answer 1


The Icon= key should contains the path to the .png file or just the name of the file (without the .png) if the file is installed in /usr/share/icons/hicolor/<file size>.

Not the path to the executable…

See: https://specifications.freedesktop.org/desktop-entry-spec/desktop-entry-spec-1.1.html

Edit: If the icons are bundled in the QT executable, you indeed will have to extract the icons before. Apparently it's possible to do so with https://github.com/gcochard/png-extractor, not tested though.

  • Read again: "different from RStudio which has a png file in one of its directories, SoulSeek runs from a single file"
    – Rodrigo
    Jan 21, 2017 at 11:27
  • I read it and what you are trying to do is not possible TTBOMK. I've added the link to the xdg desktop file specification in my reply
    – Bigon
    Jan 21, 2017 at 11:31
  • Thanks for the interesting link. In A. Example Desktop Entry File, I see both Exec and Icon keys pointing to the same executable, though (unless there's a png file with the same name in the expected path).
    – Rodrigo
    Jan 21, 2017 at 11:42
  • Yes the confusion comes from that, it's quite common that the executable and the icon have the same name
    – Bigon
    Jan 21, 2017 at 11:44
  • So if that's actually not possible (I'll wait 7 days -- the bounty expiration time), the solution will be to somehow extract the png icon from inside the executable.
    – Rodrigo
    Jan 21, 2017 at 11:47

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