desktop-file-utils contains a few command line utilities for working with desktop entries:

  • desktop-file-validate: validates a desktop file and prints warnings/errors about desktop entry specification violations.
  • desktop-file-install: installs a desktop file to the applications directory, optionally munging it a bit in transit.
  • update-desktop-database: updates the database containing a cache of MIME types handled by desktop files. It requires GLib to compile, because the implementation requires Unicode utilities and such.


The development occurs in git, in the xdg/desktop-file-utils repository. Bugs should be reported in gitlab.


Tarballs can be found at

Release notes can be found in the NEWS file.