desktoptojson - Converts a .desktop file to a .json file.

desktoptojson --input DESKTOP-FILE --output JSON-FILE

desktoptojson {--version | --help}

The KService framework uses information contained in .desktop files to locate services, including plugins for Qt5-based applications and libraries. The Qt5 plugin system, however, uses JSON data embedded in the plugin itself. desktoptojson allows the information contained in a .desktop file to also be used as the embedded data for a Qt5 plugin by converting the .desktop file entries into JSON data.

The generated JSON data is a JSON object that maps the entries from the [Desktop Entry] group of the .desktop file. Any other groups are ignored. Most entries are just converted to JSON strings, but certain entries (such as Hidden and X-KDE-PluginInfo-EnabledByDefault) are known to be boolean values and converted as such, and similarly some (such as X-KDE-ServiceTypes and X-KDE-PluginInfo-Depends) are always converted to arrays of strings.


The .desktop file to convert.

--output JSON-FILE

The file to write the generated JSON data to.


Show a brief help text.


Show version information.

Most users of this utility will use the CMake macro kservice_desktop_to_json as part of the process of building a plugin.

add_library(myplugin MODULE ${myplugin_SRCS})
kservice_desktop_to_json(myplugin myplugin.desktop)

This will produce the JSON file myplugin.json, which can be referenced from the K_PLUGIN_FACTORY_WITH_JSON or Q_PLUGIN_METADATA macros.

Please use KDE's bugtracker[1] to report bugs.

Scarlett Clark <>

Wrote the original documentation.

Alex Merry <>

Edited the documentation.

KDE's bugtracker
2014-04-02 KDE Frameworks Frameworks 5.0