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I have a launcher currently on my XFCE panel that I would like to open a window. However, I want to make it only open the window if no other instance is running. If an instance is running, the windows would close upon a press of the launcher. I think that this could be possible with a toggle of the command--if running, close, and if closed, run. How can I achieve this?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You can install and use wmctrl to do something like what you want.

Say you want to start <program> only if another instance of it isn't running. If another instance of <program> is running, switch to it instead.


wmctrl -a <something> || <program>


wmctrl -ax <something> || <program>

depending on which works for you. <something> will be derived from the output of wmctrl -l or wmctrl -lx which you will run when the program you wish to control is open.

You can then assign a shortcut key to that or use it in a script and make a desktop launcher for that script.

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