There's a line between closing an application and leaving it open. That line generally lies within the notification area. This is where small apps usually hang out waiting to be quickly re-opened. But aren't there times when you wish you could force an app not made for the notification area into that "quick recall" space? Well now you can with a handy little tool called AllTray.
AllTray is a tool that is available for UNIX-like systems that allows you to place applications that do not have a native icon for the notification area into the notification area. This makes those apps much more readily available and not in your way. In this article I am going to show you how to install and use AllTray in Fedora 13.
A word of warning
If you run Emerald as your window decorator you will not be able to use AllTray. If you try to use AllTray with Emerald running it will not see any open application as native. Instead you need to be running the default window manager. AllTray CAN work with GNOME, KDE, and Xfce (I haven't tested it beyond that).
The installation of AllTray is simple. You can do this either from the Add/Remove Software tool or from the command line. You can also, if you choose, install from source. To install from the Add/Remove Software tool follow these steps:
To install from command line do the following:
To install from source do the following:
That should do it. One way or another AllTray is installed. Now let's see how this tool is used.
You will find a menu entry for AllTray in Applications > Accessories. When you click on that entry a small box will open instructing you to click on the window you would like to dock (see Figure 1). Your cursor will also turn into a cross-hair. Once this has happened, click on the window you would like to add to the notification area and that application will immediately dock itself.
When the application is docked all you have to do to bring it back is to single click on the application icon. Figure 2 shows both Firefox and The Gimp docked.
To place an application that you've docked back into the notification area all you have to do is minimize or close the application. The application will be waiting there for you to instantly come back to life.
In order to completely close the docked application all you have to do is right-click the notification area icon and select Exit.
AllTray is a really handy tool to have for those applications you want quick access to but don't want to have your desktop cluttered with open or minimized windows. Give AllTray a try...you will find yourself using it more than you think.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.