xdg-icon-resource Man page

XDG-ICON-RESOURCE(1) xdg-icon-resource Manual XDG-ICON-RESOURCE(1)


xdg-icon-resource – command line tool for (un)installing icon resources


xdg-icon-resource install [–noupdate] [–novendor] [–theme theme] [–context context] [–mode mode] –size size
icon-file [icon-name]

xdg-icon-resource uninstall [–noupdate] [–theme theme] [–context context] [–mode mode] –size size

xdg-icon-resource forceupdate [–theme theme] [–mode mode]

xdg-icon-resource {–help | –manual | –version}


The xdg-icon-resource program can be used to install icon resources
into the desktop icon system in order to illustrate menu entries, to
depict desktop icons or to graphically represent file types.

The desktop icon system identifies icons by name. Depending on the
required size, the choice of icon theme and the context in which the
icon is used, the desktop icon system locates an appropriate icon
resource to depict an icon. Icon resources can be XPM files or PNG

The desktop icon system works according to the XDG Icon Theme
Specification at

Installs the icon file indicated by icon-file to the desktop icon
system under the name icon-name. Icon names do not have an
extension. If icon-name is not provided the name is derived from
icon-file. The icon file must have .png or .xpm as extension. If a
corresponding .icon file exists in the same location as icon-file
it will be installed as well.

Removes the icon indicated by icon-name from the desktop icon
system. Note that icon names do not have an extension.

Force an update of the desktop icon system. This is only useful if
the last call to xdg-icon-resource included the –noupdate option.


Postpone updating the desktop icon system. If multiple icons are
added in sequence this flag can be used to indicate that additional
changes will follow and that it is not necessary to update the
desktop icon system right away.

Normally, xdg-icon-resource checks to ensure that an icon file to
be installed in the apps context has a proper vendor prefix. This
option can be used to disable that check.

A vendor prefix consists of alpha characters ([a-zA-Z]) and is
terminated with a dash (“-“). Companies and organizations are
encouraged to use a word or phrase, preferably the organizations
name, for which they hold a trademark as their vendor prefix. The
purpose of the vendor prefix is to prevent name conflicts.

–theme theme
Installs or removes the icon file as part of theme. If no theme is
specified the icons will be installed as part of the default
hicolor theme. Applications may install icons under multiple themes
but should at least install icons for the default hicolor theme.

–context context
Specifies the context for the icon. Icons to be used in the
application menu and as desktop icon should use apps as context
which is the default context. Icons to be used as file icons should
use mimetypes as context. Other common contexts are actions,
devices, emblems, filesystems and stock.

–size size
Specifies the size of the icon. All icons must be square. Common
sizes for icons in the apps context are: 16, 22, 32, 48, 64 and
128. Common sizes for icons in the mimetypes context are: 16, 22,
32, 48, 64 and 128

–mode mode
mode can be user or system. In user mode the file is (un)installed
for the current user only. In system mode the file is (un)installed
for all users on the system. Usually only root is allowed to
install in system mode.

The default is to use system mode when called by root and to use
user mode when called by a non-root user.

Show command synopsis.

Show this manual page.

Show the xdg-utils version information.

xdg-icon-resource honours the following environment variables:

Setting this environment variable to a non-zero numerical value
makes xdg-icon-resource do more verbose reporting on stderr.
Setting a higher value increases the verbosity.

This environment variable can be used by the user or administrator
to override the installation mode. Valid values are user and

An exit code of 0 indicates success while a non-zero exit code
indicates failure. The following failure codes can be returned:

Error in command line syntax.

One of the files passed on the command line did not exist.

A required tool could not be found.

The action failed.

No permission to read one of the files passed on the command line.


xdg-desktop-icon(1), xdg-desktop-menu(1), xdg-mime(1), Icon theme

To install an icon resource to depict a launcher for the application
myfoobar, the company ShinyThings Inc. can use:

xdg-icon-resource install –size 64 shinythings-myfoobar.png

To install an icon for a new application/x-foobar file type one can

xdg-icon-resource install –context mimetypes –size 48 ./mime-foobar-48.png application-x-foobar
xdg-icon-resource install –context mimetypes –size 64 ./mime-foobar-64.png application-x-foobar

This will install two icons with the name application-x-foobar but with
different sizes.

Kevin Krammer

Jeremy White


Copyright © 2006

1. Icon theme specification

xdg-utils 1.0 02/01/2016 XDG-ICON-RESOURCE(1)