How do I start applications that autostart on login start hidden in the system tray? Is there special command (i.e. --hidden) to the autostart command to make the application start to the system tray?

I know in Kubuntu 11.04 Kwin allows "Special Windows Settings" to set a specific rule to start an application minimized but haven't seen any rule to start to tray.

I'm looking to start Mobloquer to the system tray on login, but a more general method to solve this problem that applies to all programs would be very much appreciated.


2 Answers 2


kstart --iconify <program name> in KDE starts minimized. I really don't know if there is a specific command to close to systray (even because many apps don't have a systray).

Another possibility is using ksystray. For example ksystraycmd --hidden kmail will start kmail and put it in the system tray. But i'm not quite sure if it will work for any app. If not, probably you have to check if there is a specific option for your application.

You can find more info here.

EDIT : more info here too

  • Both of your answers (kstart and ksystraycmd) work to start an application to system tray. But ksystray adds an additional icon for itself in the notification area... mobloquer already has an systray icon so now there are two icons in the notification area. Ksystray would be good for any application that doesn't have a systray icon by default.
    – 13east
    Jul 21, 2011 at 3:50

In Gnome

Just for the record: In gnome currently the best way to start applications minimized is devilspie Install devilspie / sudo apt-get install devilspie.

Devil's pie rules go in ~/.devilspie and are called someName.ds so to start the terminal minimized you would to something like:

confus@confusion:~$ mkdir ~/.devilspie
confus@confusion:~$ cd ~/.devilspie
confus@confusion:~$ echo -e "
> (if
>     (is (application_name) "Terminal")
>     (begin
>        (minimize)
>     )
> )" >> terminal.ds
confus@confusion:~$ devilspie

The last command is used to start the Devil's Pie daemon. But devils pie is much more powerful than this. You can find out more properties by which to identify windows unsing echo "(debug)" >> ~/.devilspie/debug.ds. Now when you start the daemon in terminal it will put out information for each window, when it's started.

For more see the Devil's Pie Documentation.

Graphical configuration

enter image description here

You can also configure Devil's Pie using gdevilspie Install gdevilspie / sudo apt-get install gdevilspie

  • +1, I use devilspie to remove window's decorations. But I have to say it is not specific to Gnome (as one could erroneously believe from your answer): I used it successfully with openbox too.
    – enzotib
    Jul 21, 2011 at 8:32
  • Yeah, I just wanted to say, that there is no 'native' way known to me in gnome.
    – con-f-use
    Jul 21, 2011 at 8:57

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