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Idesk is a simple program for putting icons on your X desktop. It can also manage your wallpaper with a built in changer similar to that found in Windows 7.


idesk is in community, so just run:

# pacman -S idesk

then set up in your home directory:

$ mkdir ~/.idesktop
$ cp /usr/share/idesk/dot.ideskrc ~/.ideskrc


$ cp /usr/share/idesk/default.lnk ~/.idesktop/

(the default icon just runs Xdialog to display a little message but can be used as a template)


the idesk package doesn't come with a man page, but there's a readme at /usr/share/idesk/README. there's also documentation on sourceforge.

Most of the options are self-explanatory. You'll probably want to change the FontXx and ToolTip.FontXx options to fit with your overall theme.

Background Options

If you're using another program for setting wallpaper (such as feh) the defaults will work fine (you may want to set Background.File and Background.Source to "/" to silence the error messages).

Background.Source seems to take predence over Background.File; however, it is ignored if Background.Delay is set to 0.

Supported wallpaper formats include JPEG, PNG, GIF, and XPM.


Idesk looks in ~/.idesktop for file who's names end with ".lnk" for icons. Each file should define one icon (if you attempt to define a second icon is will be silently ignored). Aside from ending with ".lnk", the files' names are not important.

Example for Chromium:

table Icon
  Caption: Chromium
  ToolTip.Caption: Google's OSS Web Browser
  Icon: /usr/share/icons/hicolor/32x32/apps/chromium.png
  Width: 32
  Height: 32
  X: 977
  Y: 369
  Command[0]: chromium

Width and Height should match the actual dimensions of the icon. X and Y will be modified by idesk to reflect the icon's actual position, just use some sane default when creating the file.


I've noticed that icons seem to show the contents of semi-transparent urxvt windows that are on other desktops... I'm not sure it this's the fault of idesk, urxvt, OpenBox, or xcompmgr. It's not that irritating, so I do not plan to look into it, but it is odd... --Solarshado 01:09, 3 November 2010 (EDT)