Notes on ebuilds with GUI

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When this wiki page was started (2017-11-13), there was a lot confusion about how to write clean ebuilds for desktop applications. As result, there are many ebuilds which use obsolete eclasses, or even worse do not install, update, or remove the icons and menus. The eclasses are hardly documented and the documentation has mistakes. Many for loops for icons miss the definition of the local variable.

This page is still work in progress. It would be nice, if we could extract a howto wiki page from it afterwards and improve the documentation of the eclasses.



eclass reference: xdg.eclass

  • xdg inherits xdg-utils


eclass reference: xdg-utils.eclass


eclass reference: gnome2.eclass


eclass reference: gnome2-utils.eclass

What repoman QA can detect

* QA Notice: .desktop files with MimeType= were found installed
 * but desktop mimeinfo cache has not been updated:
 *   /usr/share/applications/SciTE.desktop
 * Please make sure to call xdg_desktop_database_update()
 * in pkg_postinst() and pkg_postrm() phases of appropriate pkgs.

Code examples to create icons

src_install() {
    local i
    for i in 16x16 22x22 32x32 48x48 64x64 128x128; do
        newicon -s ${i} utilities/${PN}${i}.png ${PN}.png

.desktop files

brainstorming section (delete later, when merged in the text)

This page provides a summary of various files whose installation should be accompanied by appropriate postinst/postrm trigger calls.

Path Conditions preinst prerm postrm postinst
xdg-utils.eclass (or automatic in xdg.eclass)
/usr/share/applications if MimeType= is specified - - xdg_desktop_database_update xdg_desktop_database_update
/usr/share/mime - - xdg_mimeinfo_database_update xdg_mimeinfo_database_update
/usr/share/icons - - xdg_icon_cache_update xdg_icon_cache_update
gnome2-utils.eclass (or automatic in gnome2.eclass)
/etc/gconf/schemas/ gnome2_gconf_savelist - - gnome2_gconf_install
/usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas gnome2_schemas_savelist - gnome2_schemas_update gnome2_schemas_update
/usr/share/omf gnome2_scrollkeeper_savelist - gnome2_scrollkeeper_update gnome2_scrollkeeper_update
/usr/lib*/gdk-pixbuf-2.0 gnome2_gdk_pixbuf_savelist - - gnome2_gdk_pixbuf_update
/usr/lib*/gio/modules - - gnome2_giomodule_cache_update gnome2_giomodule_cache_update
  • *1) Not needed in general, but still useful to use in phase defining eclasses, like gnome2.eclass.
  • Needs to be updated since some savelists are not needed
  • what about fonts?

Working principle of a trigger in bash

while read type file; do
	case "${file}" in
done < "${TEMP}/files"

See also