Ubuntu – One Thunar folder doesn’t show icons as in the other one


I've been trying to solve Docky not showing Xfce and Thunar icons, and did with the help of this thread.

However in the process of it I started wondering, why these two folders (/usr/share/applications/ and ~/.local/share/applications/) are showing file icons differently?

I've not found any setting in Thunar options regarding this.

Best Answer

The folder /usr/share/applications is handled in a special way and the icons displayed for a .desktop-file are defined in the .desktop-file itself. If you take a deeper look you will see that Thunar also does not display the real file names in /usr/share/applications but an alias which is also defined in the .desktop-file.

For the folder ~/local/share/applications all this is not the case, Thunar displays the real file names and the default icons for the different file types.

The question Can Nautilus display a .desktop file by its real name? is heavily related, at least regarding the displayed file names.

Trick with soft-link:

If you want to display the files in ~/.local/share/applications in the same way as files are displayed in /usr/share/applications, you could do it with a soft-link placed in /usr/share which points to ~/.local/share/applications:

sudo ln -s ~/.local/share/applications /usr/share/applicationsinhome

Now you can browse in Thunar to /usr/share/applicationsinhome. This will display the files located in ~/.local/share/applications in the same way as the files in /usr/share/applications and you would still be able to delete, create or edit files without root-privileges.

Please take a look at my answer in the linked question too, there I explained how to do it the other way around.

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