How to make a Tweetdeck Chrome Application shortcut in KDE

The other day I found that the Tweetdeck Chrome extension worked on FreeBSD (With Chromium 18.0.1025.142, probably earlier as well). I had been missing a full GUI to monitor some things on Twitter on my FreeBSD box. I have a much larger monitor on my FreeBSD workstation than on my Windows laptop, so I’d rather use the extra screen space there to keep a search column up (For pfSense, mainly).

I encountered two issues though. The first is that Chrome will, for whatever reason, kick in the monitor’s DPMS power saving mode. I have this disabled in my .xinitrc so it was a surprised to see the monitor turn itself off. There is an open bug for Chromium about this behavior. Not sure what about Tweetdeck brings it on but it doesn’t happen unless it’s open, and even then not all the time. Turns out unsetting the KDE_FULL_SESSION environment variable before launching Chrome will make it behave.

Second, to make Tweetdeck live outside of the normal Chrome window I wanted to make an application shortcut. When I attemtped to do so, however, it complained and said it couldn’t determine my desktop environment (I tried this with the previously unset variable retained as well, thinking that was the cause). So I had to manually track down a couple things.

The key to making this work is making a small shell script. I dropped in a directory under my ~ and called it tweetdeck.sh. This is what it looks like:

#!/bin/sh
unset KDE_FULL_SESSION
/usr/local/bin/chrome  --app-id=hbdpomandigafcibbmofojjchbcdagbl

I had to track down that app id by making a shortcut on a Windows box and then copying the string over. If we didn’t need to unset that environment variable, you wouldn’t need a shell script you could just copy a chrome shortcut and add the app id bit.

So I made a shortcut to that script and it worked, but still looked pretty boring with the standard icon. So I dug around and found that there are some good icons that get installed with the extension. The one I used was stashed away in:

/home/me/.config/chromium/Default/Extensions/hbdpomandigafcibbmofojjchbcdagbl/1.3_0/web/assets/logos/48.png

So that’s all the magic. It launches in its own window, completely standalone. If you click a link, it launches a separate instance of Chrome to handle it.

Clearly between the DPMS and Shortcut creation issues Chrome could use some better KDE integration but I won’t hold that against it, the fact that it works so well (or at all) is fine by me.

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