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How to send any Linux app to the system tray

There are many Linux apps out there that users want to have running at all times, yet these apps do not give users the ability to send them to the system tray. As a result, users end up accidentally closing these programs or keeping them open in the background.

If you’re sick of accidentally closing open programs because you can’t send them to the system tray, you’ll love Kdocker. It’s an excellent little program that allows Linux users to send any application to the system tray to run in the background. Here’s how to use it.

Note: Kdocker may not work with modern display systems like Wayland. For the best results, please use Kdocker on X11-based Linux desktop environments.

Installing Kdocker on Linux

The Kdocker app must be installed on your Linux PC before we continue with this guide. Luckily, it’s available for installation on most Linux operating systems with little trouble.

To start the installation of Kdocker on your Linux system, open up a terminal window by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard. Then, with the terminal window open, follow the in-depth installation instructions outlined below that corresponds with the operating system you use.


On Ubuntu Linux, the Kdocker program is available to users in the Ubuntu “Universe” software repository. However, the “Universe” software repository must be turned on, as it is not set up by default on every single Ubuntu installation. To turn on the “Universe” software repository, enter the following add-apt-repository command below.

sudo add-apt-repository universe

After adding the repository to the system, run the update command to refresh Ubuntu’s software sources. This action will make sure that the new “Universe” repository is ready to use.

sudo apt update

Following the update command, use the apt install command to get the latest release of Kdocker working on your Ubuntu PC.

sudo apt install kdocker


On Debian Linux, it is possible to get the Kdocker program up and running, so long as you use Debian 10, 9, 8, or Sid.  To install the program, use the apt-get command below.

sudo apt-get install kdocker

Please keep in mind that this version of Kdocker on Debian is likely out of date compared to other Linux operating systems. The reason for this is that Debian is a stable Linux operating system, and tends to keep significant upgrades back for long periods. If you wish to have a newer release of Kdocker on Debian, follow our guide to learn how to set up Debian Backports.

Arch Linux

Sadly, Arch Linux does not officially support Kdocker. The fact that Arch does not distribute it is understandable. Kdocker is a bit of a niche app. Instead, those looking to use it will need to install the community AUR release of the app manually.

To start the Kdocker AUR installation, use the Pacman package manager to install both the “Git” and “Base-devel” packages on the system. They’re required to interact with the AUR.

sudo pacman -S git base-devel

Following the installation of the two packages, use the git clone command to download the Trizen AUR helper. This tool will make building and installing Kdocker on Arch Linux much easier, as all dependencies are taken care of automatically.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/trizen.git

Install Trizen on your Arch Linux system using the makepkg command.

cd trizen

makepkg -sri

Finally, use the Trizen tool to load up the latest release of Kdocker on your Arch Linux system.


On Fedora Linux, getting the Kdocker program is as easy as entering the following dnf install command below.

sudo dnf install kdocker


Sadly, there’s no way to install Kdocker on OpenSUSE in the traditional methods. Still, the source code is available. To get it working on your system, read the “INSTALL” entry on GitHub. It will outline the dependencies you’ll need, how to build it, etc.

Send Linux app to the system tray

The Kdocker program is installed on your Linux PC. Now it is time to go over how to use it to send your favorite apps to the system tray. Follow the step-by-step instructions below.

Step 1: Launch the program you wish to keep in the Linux system tray and put it in focus by clicking on it with the mouse. This program must be the only program on the screen, or Kdocker may not work right.

Step 2: Open up the app menu on your Linux desktop, and locate “Kdocker” in the app menu. Alternatively, launch the program instantly by pressing Alt + F2 and writing in “Kdocker” in the text box.

Step 3: As soon as the Kdocker program is launched, your mouse cursor will turn into a square icon. Use this icon to click on the program you wish to send to the Linux system tray.

When the program is sent to the system tray, an icon with a red question mark will appear. Click on it to reveal/hide your apps with Kdocker.

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