xterm unity launcher icon does not allow opening additional windows

Bug #1590677 reported by Erik Auerswald on 2016-06-09
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
xterm (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

The launcher icon for xterm in unity on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS does not provide a way to open additional XTerms (e.g. the gnome-terminal launcher icon does). Thus it is not possible to open more than one XTerm window using just the unity launcher.

$ lsb_release -rd
Description: Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS
Release: 14.04

$ apt-cache policy xterm
  Installed: 297-1ubuntu1
  Candidate: 297-1ubuntu1
  Version table:
 *** 297-1ubuntu1 0
        500 http://ftp.uni-kl.de/pub/linux/ubuntu/ trusty/main amd64 Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status

Thomas Dickey (dickey-his) wrote :

I assume you're talking about the "Actions" keyword. Perhaps it's a moot issue, due to Ubuntu's hostile attitude toward xterm's desktop file: I can change it upstream, and it will not get installed.

Erik Auerswald (auerswal) wrote :

Thanks for the reply!

I have not checked how this works in Unity. I would have thought that this is a Ubuntu resp. Unity issue, because it needs some magic to open a second window via the launcher.

Looking at /usr/share/applications/gnome-terminal.desktop, the [Desktop Action New] section seems to be used for this functionality. I'll look into this.


Erik Auerswald (auerswal) wrote :

I can add the needed functionality by placing creating ~/.local/share/applications/xterm.desktop based on /usr/share/applications/debian-xterm.desktop with the addition of a "New" action.

--- /usr/share/applications/debian-xterm.desktop 2016-06-10 09:42:53.606842511 +0200
+++ .local/share/applications/xterm.desktop 2016-06-10 10:19:10.252737613 +0200
@@ -42,3 +42,9 @@
+[Desktop Action New]
+Name=New Terminal

There is one glitch: when opening the second xterm, Unity changes the mouse pointer to indicate activity. I think XTerm does not send the Unity (or GNOME?) specific message that it has started, thus this activity indication is active until a timeout expires. Adding "StartupNotify=false" to the [Desktop Action New] section does not fix this.

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