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wmctrl -s can be used to switch between virtual desktops. Is there a command that shows the desktop? that is a command that will switch between minimizing all windows and restoring them?

  • I don't think so. I want a command that does it without sending key combinations artificially. Because that depends on the key combination which may be different or not set in KDE environment (not unity as tagged there). such a command may work in every environment (=why I did not mention explicitly KDE environment). But for me KDE is enough. – nano - merge me Jan 3 '14 at 3:54
  • @MinimusHeximus: have you checked the other answers on that question? – Andrea Corbellini Jan 3 '14 at 17:55
  • @AndreaCorbellini: Note two answers there are added after my question. Still answers here are richer. And note this question is about plasma and not unity. btw, this question is now done with. no matter closed or open. – nano - merge me Jan 3 '14 at 18:37
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To show the desktop the command:

wmctrl -k on

To turn it off use

wmctrl -k off
| improve this answer | |
  • btw, on and off dashes the hope of simulating KDE show desktop widget which has a toggling nature. – nano - merge me Jan 3 '14 at 4:14
  • strangely, if you execute the command in yakuake then show yakuake all windows are restored... – virtualxtc Jan 3 '14 at 4:17
  • couldn't you just use an if else statement to toggle? – virtualxtc Jan 3 '14 at 4:18
  • well I intend to attach a hotkey to it which will run the command. So there will be no terminal. About if statement, I'm not sure how to check the condition. well I may write a C++ code which will save the status in a file and on re-execution will read the file to check the status. Not worth the candle. – nano - merge me Jan 3 '14 at 4:28
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This is an adaptation of virtualxtc's answer with support for toggling.

#!/bin/bash

current_mode="$(wmctrl -m | grep 'showing the desktop')"

if [[ "${current_mode##* }" == ON ]]; then
    wmctrl -k off
else
    wmctrl -k on
fi

To use, save the above into a file, then mark it executable.


Explanation of above code

#!/bin/bash

This is a shebang comment.

current_mode="$(wmctrl -m | grep 'showing the desktop')"

This captures the output of wmctrl -m piped through grep 'showing the desktop' into the variable $current_mode.

if [[ "${current_mode##* }" == ON ]]; then
    wmctrl -k off
else
    wmctrl -k on
fi

An if...else... statement in Bash. ${current_mode##* } returns $current_mode with the longest match of anything up until a space deleted from the front of the string. If this returns ON, turns desktop off; else turns desktop on.

| improve this answer | |
  • I tested it but it always minimizes, and does not restore. Maybe wmctrl -k off is not working well or [[ "$current_mode" == ON ]] is incompatible with it. – nano - merge me Jan 3 '14 at 4:39
  • @MinimusHeximus The issue might be that it isn't being run with Bash and is instead run with sh. See my edits. – kiri Jan 3 '14 at 4:42
  • @minerz029 sweet! can you point me to an explanation of the ##* part? I'm assuming it causes it to read the last work after the grepped line or something.... – virtualxtc Jan 3 '14 at 5:00
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    @virtualxtc The ${var##exp} returns $var with the longest match of exp deleted from the front of it, where exp is a shell glob. $var is not actually modified. See here for more details and other similar constructs. – kiri Jan 3 '14 at 5:02
  • Thanks! I didn't recognize that the space inside the bracket is nessesary until I reviewed the examples in your link. – virtualxtc Jan 3 '14 at 5:19

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