I'm using 20.04.2 LTS ubuntu dektop. When I use a program, say, Firefox, there is a dot by the launcher icon showing there is an active application for that program. I can click on the active icon and the active window of that program pops up.

This works for every application except Chromium (Version 90.0.4430.85),which happens to be the top icon if that makes any difference. In this case, there is an active window of Chromium, with several tabs, but it does not show a dot for "active application". When I click on the Chromium icon, it opens a new window, and the active icon dot shows up. I cannot get back to the first instance of the program using the launcher icon, like all other programs. Alt Tab (and the other usual methods of switching programs) is the only way to get to that first active Chromium window.

How can I get Chromium to behave like other programs, showing an active icon when there is one instance of the program running?

  • 1
    You could try whether changing StartupNotify=true to false in the .desktop launcher of Chromium works around this issue. – vanadium May 4 at 10:30
  • That worked! Thanks! – Invention1 May 4 at 15:16
  • Because this helped you, I wrote this comment out as an answer for the benefit of other users. Please consider "accepting" it by checking the mark next to the answer. – vanadium May 4 at 15:35

The problem may be due to the startup notify mechanism. With Startup Notify turned on, the operating system expects the loaded application to give a signal when it is ready. In the mean time, the OS could, for example, display the waiting cursor.

This feature does not always work correctly. For example, In LibreOffice, when you start another component, e.g. Calc, while one component, e.g. Writer, is opened, it takes 30 seconds or more before the launcher of Calc starts to show up in the Alt+Tab switcher. In your case, it is as if Chromium never signals it is ready, so the launcher is never prepared for it until you click it once more, launching a second instance.

If that is the issue issue, then you can workaround by turning Startup Notify off for the application. To do so, change StartupNotify=true to StartupNotify=false in the .desktop launcher of Chromium.

Most launchers are installed under /usr/share/applications. Do not edit the original, but a copy. The original is managed by the OS, and may be overwritten by a future update. Instead copy the launcher to ~/.local/share/applications if it only must affect you as a user (you no not need root privileges for the change), or to /usr/local/share/applications if you want the change to affect all users (you must have root permissions to do that change).

  • Thanks! This explains the issue in much more depth! – Invention1 May 6 at 1:06

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