Go to main content

man pages section 1: User Commands

Exit Print View

Updated: Wednesday, July 27, 2022

gapplication (1)


gapplication - Bus application launcher


gapplication help [COMMAND]

gapplication version

gapplication list-apps

gapplication launch APPID

gapplication launch APPID [FILE...]

gapplication list-actions APPID

gapplication action APPID ACTION [PARAMETER]


GAPPLICATION(1)                  User Commands                 GAPPLICATION(1)

       gapplication - D-Bus application launcher

       gapplication help [COMMAND]

       gapplication version

       gapplication list-apps

       gapplication launch APPID

       gapplication launch APPID [FILE...]

       gapplication list-actions APPID

       gapplication action APPID ACTION [PARAMETER]

       gapplication is a commandline implementation of the client-side of the
       org.freedesktop.Application interface as specified by the
       freedesktop.org Desktop Entry Specification.

       gapplication can be used to start applications that have
       DBusActivatable set to true in their .desktop files and can be used to
       send messages to already-running instances of other applications.

       It is possible for applications to refer to gapplication in the Exec
       line of their .desktop file to maintain backwards compatibility with
       implementations that do not directly support DBusActivatable.

       gapplication ships as part of GLib.

   Global commands
       help [COMMAND]
           Displays a short synopsis of the available commands or provides
           detailed help on a specific command.

           Prints the GLib version whence gapplication came.

           Prints a list of all application IDs that are known to support
           D-Bus activation. This list is generated by scanning .desktop files
           as per the current XDG_DATA_DIRS.

       launch APPID [FILE...]
           Launches an application.

           The first parameter is the application ID in the familiar "reverse
           DNS" style (eg: 'org.gnome.app') without the .desktop suffix.

           Optionally, if additional parameters are given, they are treated as
           the names of files to open and may be filenames or URIs. If no
           files are given then the application is simply activated.

       list-actions APPID
           List the actions declared in the application's .desktop file. The
           parameter is the application ID, as above.

           Invokes the named action (in the same way as would occur when
           activating an action specified in the .desktop file).

           The application ID (as above) is the first parameter. The action
           name follows.

           Optionally, following the action name can be one parameter, in
           GVariant format, given as a single argument. Make sure to use
           sufficient quoting.

   From the commandline
       Launching an application:

                   gapplication launch org.example.fooview

       Opening a file with an application:

                   gapplication launch org.example.fooview ~/file.foo

       Opening many files with an application:

                   gapplication launch org.example.fooview ~/foos/*.foo

       Invoking an action on an application:

                   gapplication action org.example.fooview create

       Invoking an action on an application, with an action:

                   gapplication action org.example.fooview show-item '"item_id_828739"'

   From the Exec lines of a .desktop file
       The commandline interface of gapplication was designed so that it could
       be used directly from the Exec line of a .desktop file.

       You might want to do this to allow for backwards compatibility with
       implementations of the specification that do not understand how to do
       D-Bus activation, without having to install a separate utility program.

       Consider the following example:

                   [Desktop Entry]
                   Name=Foo Viewer
                   Exec=gapplication launch org.example.fooview %F

                   [Desktop Action gallery]
                   Name=Browse Gallery
                   Exec=gapplication action org.example.fooview gallery

                   [Desktop Action create]
                   Name=Create a new Foo!
                   Exec=gapplication action org.example.fooview create

   From a script
       If installing an application that supports D-Bus activation you may
       still want to put a file in /usr/bin so that your program can be
       started from a terminal.

       It is possible for this file to be a shell script. The script can
       handle arguments such as --help and --version directly. It can also
       parse other command line arguments and convert them to uses of
       gapplication to activate the application, open files, or invoke

       Here is a simplified example, as may be installed in /usr/bin/fooview:


                   case "$1" in
                       echo "see 'man fooview' for more information"

                       echo "fooview 1.2"

                       gapplication action org.example.fooview gallery

                       gapplication action org.example.fooview create

                       echo "unrecognised commandline argument"
                       exit 1

                       gapplication launch org.example.fooview "$@"

       See attributes(7) for descriptions of the following attributes:

       |Availability   | library/glib2    |
       |Stability      | Uncommitted      |

       Desktop Entry Specification[1], gdbus(1), xdg-open(1), desktop-file-

        1. Desktop Entry Specification

       Source code for open source software components in Oracle Solaris can
       be found at https://www.oracle.com/downloads/opensource/solaris-source-

       This software was built from source available at
       https://github.com/oracle/solaris-userland.  The original community
       source was downloaded from

       Further information about this software can be found on the open source
       community website at https://wiki.gnome.org/Projects/GLib/.

GIO                                                            GAPPLICATION(1)