DESKTOP File Extension

Have a problem opening a .DESKTOP file? We collect information about file formats and can explain what DESKTOP files are. Additionally we recommend software suitable for opening or converting such files.

What is the .DESKTOP file type?

The .desktop filename extension is used in modern GUI-based desktop environments like GNOME, KDE, Unity etc., primarily on GNU/Linux systems to denote application launcher shortcut files. It is not a distinct file format, yet a specially treated file type.

DESKTOP files are plaintext (mainly Unicode-encoded) files that can be opened and edited with a text editor. A .desktop file would normally contain several text lines that through a series of assignment statements define the look, if-clicked behavior, command-line options, tooltip contents, application category etc.

A Linux GUI desktop environment would treat .desktop files as application shortcuts (similar to binary .lnk files in MS Windows), concealing the .desktop extension. To serve in such capacity, a .desktop file must have the "x" (executable) attribute set, otherwise it will be treated as a text file. Within a usual desktop setup, .desktop files for all installed applications are located at the "/usr/share/applications/" directory.

DESKTOP files are not to be confused with symbolic or hard links as such files are only GUI abstraction types contrived for convenience.

Software to open or convert DESKTOP files

You can open DESKTOP files with the following programs: 

Popular Formats

Video Tutorials