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alltray(1) User Commands alltray(1)

alltray – Dock any program into the system tray on GTK2-based systems

alltray [OPTION...] [--] [program] [args]

Start program with optional arguments provided in args and dock it to the system tray. If args contains options which start with dashes (- or --) then the special “end of options” argument (--) must be given before program on the command line. See EXAMPLES below for examples on invoking AllTray.

AllTray only works on UNIX and UNIX-like operating systems with the X11 Window System and compliant window management and system tray management software running.

AllTray has two modes: regular and “attach” mode. By default, AllTray will run in regular mode; to attach to an application, specify the --attach argument, and AllTray will let you select which application to attach to. Additionally, if you want to attach to a specific already running process, you can specify both --attach and --process arguments (or simply --process, which implies --attach); see OPTIONS for more information.

-?, --help
Show the help (usage) screen.
-a, --attach
Attaches to an already-running application. If --process is not specified, AllTray will prompt the user to click on a window for the application the user would like to dock.
-L, --list-debug-opts
Lists the debug “flags” that AllTray supports. The items in this list are allowed values in an environment variable named ALLTRAY_DEBUG; see the ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES section for more information. This option is hidden from the --help output, but it can be used.
-C, --enable-ctt
Enable the Close-To-Tray support in AllTray. When Close-To-Tray is enabled (it is not enabled by default), a small AllTray icon at an approximately -45 degree angle will appear in the top-right corner of the target application's window. To close the window to the tray, click on the miniaturized AllTray icon. This feature is new, and therefore not enabled by default. (However, if you wish to have it enabled always, check out the ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES section of this man page.) Also, note that CTT support does not yet work with GNOME Terminal, see BUGS for more information.
-D, --debug
Enable the debug message printing mechanism of AllTray. Note that this requires also setting the environment variable ALLTRAY_DEBUG, to get any debug output; see the ENVIRONMENT VARIABLES section below. This option is hidden from the --help output, but it can be used.
-H, --hide
Hide the target application when AllTray is started or successfully attaches to the application. This used to be default behavior in older versions of AllTray (versions prior to AllTray 0.7.0dev); it is no longer the default.
-p, --process=PID
Specifies the process ID of the application to attach to; implies --attach.
-v, --version
Show the program version, copyright, and license, then exit. If the build of AllTray was built from a development tree, some information on the exact revision it was built from will also appear.
-V, --extended-version
Show the program version, copyright, license, and build information, then exit.

AllTray reads this environment variable for any default options. Any of the options above in OPTIONS can be specified in this environment variable. This environment variable is looked at before the command line, so the command line will override it should there be any conflict.
When the -d or --debug options are specified on the command line, AllTray looks at this environment variable to see which types of debug messages you are interested in seeing. For example, setting this variable to “CMDLINE X11” and enabling debugging will tell AllTray to display messages pertaining to command-line parsing and communication with the X Window System.

For a list of valid tokens, run “alltray -L” which will output the list of supported debugging messages. Also, you can specify ALL to enable every type of debugging message that AllTray supports.

AllTray reads this environment variable to determine how to find and connect to your instance of the X Window System. Using the --display command line option can override it, or provide it if unset.

Here are some examples of invoking AllTray in various situations:
Simple example
alltray evolution
Simple debugging example
ALLTRAY_DEBUG="ALL" alltray -D evolution
Client command line arguments example
alltray -- xterm -geometry 132x40

AllTray will exit with return code 1 and an error message if it is unable to execute the specified program.

If there is a problem getting AllTray working and it doesn't seem to be giving an error, please run AllTray as in the debugging example, above, and read the output of that. It may give vital clues as to what is wrong. Almost certainly always if you do this, you'll want to also file a bug report.

When running AllTray from menus from within a desktop environment, all diagnostics will appear in the ~/.xsession-errors file.

AllTray requires a window manager which implements the EWMH specification (and thus by definition the ICCCM specification). It also requires another process which fills the role of the system tray, as specified in the System Tray Specification. At this time, this means that AllTray does not work with the Unity user interface from Canonical, because it has (intentionally) omitted support for the System Tray Specification. In order to use AllTray with Unity, please find a system tray application that works with Unity first. Support for Ayatana will be included in a future release of AllTray, most likely 0.7.6dev.

Some window manager/desktop environment combinations may not honor all of AllTray's requests. If you find such a combination, please file a bug report against AllTray so that it may be investigated. If it is a problem in AllTray (or AllTray can somehow work around it without introducing other problems), the bug report will be fixed. If the bug is discovered to be in the desktop environment or window manager, a bug will be filed against the appropriate project, if possible.

AllTray currently does not work well for users who utilize session management in their desktop environment or window manager software. This issue is known. There is no fix available at this time; session management awareness is planned for the future; it is presently not a huge priority, but if you would like the feature, please file a bug in Launchpad (or comment, if there is already a bug requesting this feature) so that I have an idea of what type of priority should be assigned to this feature.

AllTray currently does not support systems that do not have GTK 2.x installed on them, for example GNOME 3 systems that do not have GTK 2 libraries available. This will be fixed in a future release; at the present moment in time, the author does not have a GTK3 based system.

On some window managers, when using AllTray in attach mode without specifying a process ID, you must click the window itself and not the window decoration. Compiz is one such window manager; there may be others.

Close-to-Tray (CTT) support does not work for the GNOME Terminal application; when attempting to use CTT support on the GNOME Terminal application, the CTT helper process dies with an X “BadMatch” error when attempting to use it with GNOME Terminal. Please do not file a bug in such a case: it is already known. However, if this happens with any other software please file a bug report. You will be able to see the X error message text in your ~/.xsession-errors file.

There are likely undiscovered bugs. If you should find one, please report it at

Also, please note: if you are using a distribution-packaged version of AllTray, before filing a bug report against AllTray itself, please confirm that the bug exists in stock (upstream) AllTray. If you cannot confirm that, please file a bug using your distribution's normal bug-tracking procedures, and if it is an upstream bug, your distribution will send the bug to the AllTray project on Launchpad.

AllTray was started in 2004 by Jochen Baier <>. Michael B. Trausch became the maintainer in 2009 and has started a complete re-write of the AllTray code. This release,, is a result of that (continuing) re-write.

Copyright © 2009, 2010, 2011 Michael B. Trausch <>

AllTray's source code, this manual page, and .desktop files are licensed under the terms of the GNU GPL Version 3 license, as published by the Free Software Foundation. For the full-text of the license, see the license as published on the GNU web site. Some portions of the software are licensed under the GNU LGPL Version 3, permitting their re-use with slightly less strict terms. The images distributed with AllTray are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 (CC-BY-NC 3.0) license.

You should have received the license texts with this source distribution, however if you did not, the license texts are available on the Internet; see the LINKS section below.

If there is a need to use AllTray outside of these licensing terms, contact the author for information.

If you are interested in helping with AllTray's development, you can help! Please email me at <>, or find a bug report in Launchpad that needs assistance and isn't actively being worked on. You can branch the AllTray source code using the command bzr branch lp:alltray on any system that has the GNU Bazaar software installed.

Please use Launchpad to request that your branch be merged into AllTray, or if for some reason you cannot do that (for example, you do not have a Launchpad account) then please email a merge directive to <>. If you need help with using the GNU Bazaar version control system, you can check out the #bzr channel on the FreeNode IRC network. See also the LINKS section below for a link to the Bazaar in Five Minutes tutorial.

The GNU GPL Version 3.0 is available on the Internet at

The GNU LGPL Version 3.0 is available on the Internet at

The Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 license is available on the Internet at

AllTray's web site and wiki is available on the Internet at

AllTray's project page is available on the Internet at

The ICCCM is available on the Internet at

The EWMH is available on the Internet at

The System Tray Specification is available on the Internet at

The Ayatana indicators specification is available on the Internet at

Bazaar in Five Minutes is available on the Internet at

July 14, 2011 Version