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Adding Badges, Progress Bars, and launching Actions
Applications can show additional information in the dock as well as the application menu. This makes the application feel more integrated into the system and give user it's status at a glance. See HIG for Dock integration for what you should do and what you shouldn't.
For this integration you can use the Granite.Services.Application API. Since it uses the same D-Bus path as the Unity Launcher API, the API can work across many different distributions as it is widely supported by third party applications.

Current API support:

Badge Counter
Progress Bar
Applications Menu
✔️ Yes
✖️ No
✔️ Yes
✔️ Yes
✔️ Yes
✔️ Yes

Setting Up

Before writing any code, you must add the library Granite to your build system. We already installed this library during The Basic Setup when we installed elementary-sdk. Open your file and add the new dependency to the executable method.
dependencies: [
install: true
Your app must also be a Gtk.Application with a correctly set application_id as we previously set up in Hello World.
Though we haven't made any changes to our source code yet, change into your build directory and run ninja to build your project. It should still build without any errors. If you do encounter errors, double check your changes and resolve them before continuing.
Once you've set up granite in your build system and created a new Gtk.Application with an application_id, it's time to write some code.


Showing a badge in the dock and Applications Menu with the number 12 can be done with the following lines:
Granite.Services.Application.set_badge_visible.begin (true);
Granite.Services.Application.set_badge.begin (12);
Keep in mind you have to set the set_badge_visible property to true, and use an int64 type for the set_badge property. The suffix .begin is required here since these are asynchronous methods.

Progress Bars

The same goes for showing a progress bar, here we show a progress bar showing 20% progress:
Granite.Services.Application.set_progress_visible.begin (true);
Granite.Services.Application.set_progress.begin (0.2f);
As you can see, the method set_progress takes a double value type and is a range between 0 and 1: from 0% to 100%. As with badges, Don't forget that set_progress_visible must be true and .begin is required for asynchronous methods.


Actions are specific functions your app can perform without already being open; think of them as alternate and more specific entry points into your app. Actions appear in the context menu of your app icon in the Applications Menu and Dock, and are searchable by name from the Applications Menu.

D-Bus activation

Your app needs to support D-Bus activation in order to use actions as entry points. This does not require any changes to the application source code. All that is needed is a service file which is not unlike the .desktop file that you are already familiar with. Create a new .service file in the data directory:
[D-BUS Service]
Exec=com.github.myteam.myapp --gapplication-service
To install the service add the following to your file:
# Install D-Bus service, so that application can be started by D-Bus
'data' / 'myapp.service',
install_dir: get_option('datadir') / 'dbus-1' / 'services',
rename: meson.project_name() + '.service',
Lastly, update the .desktop file by adding the DBusActivatable line to the Desktop Entry group:
[Desktop Entry]

Declaring actions

You can use any action defined in the app namespace, i.e. registered with GLib.Application, as an entry point for your application. Implementing actions is covered in-depth in the actions section. They must also be declared in a new Actions line in your app's .desktop file. This line should contain a ; separated list of action names:
[Desktop Entry]
Then use a dedicated group, named after the unique action name, to define the details of each action:
[Desktop Action my-action]
Name=My Great Action
The action name used in .desktop file, both in Desktop Entry and later in Desktop Action groups, needs to match exactly the name used to register the action with GLib.Application in the source code.
The Icon line is optional and should be an icon which represents the action that will be performed. The Exec line should be specified, but is used only for backwards compatibility in case your app ever runs in an environment without D-Bus activation support.
The action name should not include your app's name, as it will always be displayed alongside your app. The action icon should also not be your app icon, as it may be shown in the menu for your app icon, or badged on top of the app icon.
See the Additional applications actions section for a detailed description of what keys are supported and what they do.
If you're having trouble, you can view the full example code here on GitHub.