A Dart package for parsing freedesktop (XDG) desktop entries on Linux.


  • Obtain values by key, including action groups.
  • Obtain localized values.
  • Icon lookup.

This package provides the DesktopEntryKey enum for convenience, but it doesn't make any assumptions about value types and whether a key is required or not. All keys are considered optional.


Parse a desktop entry file

import 'package:freedesktop_desktop_entry/freedesktop_desktop_entry.dart';
import 'dart:io';

final file = File("desktop-entry.desktop");
DesktopEntry desktopEntry = await DesktopEntry.parseFile(file);

Localize an entire desktop entry

LocalizedDesktopEntry localizedDesktopEntry = desktopEntry.localize(lang: 'fr', country: 'BE');

Get a localized value

String? localizedComment = localizedDesktopEntry.entries[DesktopEntryKey.comment.string];
// OR
String? localizedComment = desktopEntry.entries[DesktopEntryKey.comment.string]?.localize(lang: 'fr', country: 'BE');

Unless you are only interested in a few fields, prefer localizing the entire desktop entry to avoid having to specify the locale every time.

The localize methods will localize the values according to official locale matching rules, and uses the default value if no locale is matched. This is most probably what you want to do.

Get the default value

String? name = desktopEntry.entries[DesktopEntryKey.name.string]?.value;
bool? terminal = desktopEntry.entries[DesktopEntryKey.terminal.string]?.value.getBoolean();
List<String>? keywords = desktopEntry.entries[DesktopEntryKey.keywords.string]?.value.getStringList();
bool? startupNotify = desktopEntry.entries['X-KDE-StartupNotify']?.value.getBoolean();

Get a value by exact locale

String? frenchComment = desktopEntry.entries[DesktopEntryKey.comment.string]?.localizedValues[Locale(lang: 'fr', country: 'BE')];

Find an icon

final themes = FreedesktopIconThemes();
File? file = await themes.findIcon(
        name: 'firefox',
        size: 32,
        scale: 2,
        extensions: ['png'],

The first time you do an icon lookup, all installed themes on your system will be indexed. If you want to preload the themes, call FreedesktopIconThemes.loadThemes.

If new icons are installed, the next time you call FreedesktopIconThemes.findIcon it will index all themes once again before returning you an icon.

You can specify preferredThemes in IconQuery. This prioritizes the search to the list of theme names you've given before searching elsewhere. These theme names must be directory names, not user-visible names. For example breeze-dark and not Breeze Dark.