In ubuntu 20.04 (and 18.04) applications will occasionally lose it's link with the application dock.

When this happens the application still exists, but it's no longer accessible via the application dock (and no dot is displayed next to the application icon), forcing me to use the "action/windows" key to show applications and select the application from there in order to move it to the foreground.

If I reboot and restart everything the applications will be properly linked to the dock, displaying a "dot" next to the application.

I've noticed this mainly with the 2 applications I use most, PyCharm (community) and chromimum, but may happen to all.

Does anyone know a way to prevent the application from losing it's link to the dock?

Running ubuntu 20.04.1 on a thinkpad x1 extereme.


Not only is your application not available on the dock, it is also not listed in the Alt+Tab switcher. Indeed, going to the overview is the only way to get to the application.

This is likely due to the Startupnotify system. When this is set for an application, it indicates to the desktop that the applications will notify the shell when it is ready. This allows the shell to provide some feedback while the application is still loading.

That does not work always well on Gnome Shell. Sometimes, it cause an application's icon not to appear or to appear only after maybe 30 seconds or more.

To get rid of the issue, turn StartuNotify off in the .desktop launcher of the program. Create your own copy of the system wide .desktop file in ~/.local/share/applications. Edit that copy to set StartupNotify to false, as: StartupNotify=false. That copy will override the system wide launcher.

For applications that are installed through the regular APT system, the system wide launchers are under /usr/share/applications. These from applications installed through snap are under /var/lib/snapd/desktop/applications/.

  • I checked the alt-tab switch and the app appears there, listed, but not linked to the dock. – monkut Aug 27 '20 at 6:45
  • I'll play around with your suggestion and see what happens. – monkut Aug 27 '20 at 6:46
  • 1
    Could be something else the. Anyway, try the suggestion indeed and let me know if this is applicable for you. I do this for Libreoffice, where an icon of a second component may appear only 30s after it has been launched. – vanadium Aug 27 '20 at 6:47

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