Riaan's SysAdmin Blog

My tips, howtos, gotchas, snippets and stuff. Use at your own risk!


Gnome Desktop Shortcut Exec

Executing commands or scripts from a GNOME desktop shortcut

I have a few scripts that I only periodically execute. For example a backup to a USB not always plugged in or to a computer not always online. For convenience I made some shortcuts on my GNOME desktop. I can easily just run these in a terminal of course but sometimes I just want to quickly click an icon and finish.

There are a few idiosyncracies around executing like this. In general you may have run into passing processes variables and redirection of output issues. In addition to those also "Exec" inside a desktop shortcut adds a few more issues. Read here for the Desktop Entry Specification

For my purposes here are example entries from .desktop files:

Rsync to USB

Exec=gnome-terminal --profile=job-output -e 'sudo /home/rrosso/scripts/rsync-TANKs-2TBUSB.sh'

Update IP address in a remote firewall

Exec=gnome-terminal --profile=job-output -- /bin/sh -c 'cd /TANK/DATA/MySrc ; python3 ip-add-iqonda-aws.py ; sleep 60'

Executing using bash with date in log file:

Exec=bash -c "sudo /root/scripts/zfs-replication.sh -w 1 -t | tee /TANK/backups/logs//bin/date +%%Y-%%m-%%d-desktop-zfs-replicate-"

I also prefer using gnome-terminal so I can format the output on the screen better:

Exec=gnome-terminal --profile=job-output -- bash -c "sudo /root/scripts/zfs-replication.sh -w 1 -t | tee /TANK/backups/logs//bin/date +%%Y-%%m-%%d-desktop-zfs-replicate- ; sleep 60"


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