$XDG_DATA_DIRS on Ubuntu not including Flatpak


Jul 1, 2023
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Hi folks!

I have installed flatpak, added flathub and installed a bunch of flatpaks which I can start but I dont get desktop icons and even manually making desktop files does not give me the icons since they are in the export directories which are not in XDG_DATA_DIRS.

I have googled for hours and been using this broken setup for weeks so please assume I rebooted around 20 times and logged out and back in a bunch in that time so this is not the solution.

This is the error message i get whenever running flatpak (in this case kodi, the lower part seems to be kodi specific):

***@***:/etc$ flatpak run tv.kodi.Kodi Note that the directories '/var/lib/flatpak/exports/share' '/home/haui/.local/share/flatpak/exports/share' are not in the search path set by the XDG_DATA_DIRS environment variable, so applications installed by Flatpak may not appear on your desktop until the session is restarted. libva info: VA-API version 1.18.0 libva error: vaGetDriverNameByIndex() failed with unknown libva error, driver_name = (null)

OS: Ubuntu 23.04 x86_64
Kernel: 6.2.0-39-generic
Uptime: 1 hour, 58 mins
Packages: 2664 (dpkg), 18 (flatpak), 38 (snap)
Shell: bash 5.2.15
Resolution: 1920x1080
DE: GNOME 44.3
WM: Mutter
WM Theme: Adwaita
Theme: Adwaita [GTK2/3]
Icons: Yaru [GTK2/3]
Terminal: gnome-terminal
CPU: Intel i9-10920X (24) @ 4.600GHz
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Ti Lite Hash Rate
Memory: 4733MiB / 31764MiB

Tried remedies
  • relog and reboot
  • commands without sudo (to make sure the flatpaks are not just root user installations I cant use)
  • check /etc/profile and /etc/environment, both have no entry of /var/lib/flatpak/app/exports/

Please let me know if you need logs/outputs/etc.

My desktop has a center bottom app dash and I often get gtk-2/3 errors if that is a hint where to look. Apps like "cheese" dont launch generally for some issue in gstreamer but reinstalling ubuntu desktop and gnome didnt help and I'm not even sure if that has anything to do with this problem here.

Thanks for reading and have a nice day.

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