PPA Install Skippy-XD, Exposé-like task-switcher for Xfce, LXDE

November 10, 2013

Mac OS Exposé-like window picker

Skippy-XD is a program for X which provides Mac OS Exposé-like features. It is a standalone application for providing a window picker with live previews (including live video) on Linux desktops that run an X server with composite support. Thus it is not part of the window manager, and the composite is not being used all the time.

To use Skippy-XD, you need Xfce (xfwm4) or a NetWM compliant window manager (LXDE, Openbox-based window managers, etc.).

This tutorial shows you how to install this task-switcher via PPA in (X)Ubuntu 13.10, (X)Ubuntu 13.04, (X)Ubuntu 12.10, (X)Ubuntu 12.04 and Linux Mint Xfce.

Mac OS X's Exposé windows picker in Ubuntu 13.10 Xfce 4.10

Mac OS X’s Exposé windows picker in Ubuntu 13.10 Xfce 4.10

Install Skippy-XD:

The Skippy-XD code has been released in 2004, and only slightly improved in 2011. Currently Skippy-XD is under (somewhat) active development and the latest GIT code is available in the PPA below.

Press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal. When it opens, run commands below one by one to install it from PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:landronimirc/skippy-xd-daily

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install skippy-xd

Once installed, start the daemon via:

skippy-xd --start-daemon &

And activate the windows picker:

skippy-xd --activate-window-picker

Add Keyboard Shortcuts for Skippy-XD

Typically, it is helpful to set up keyboard shortcuts for skippy-xd. For Xfce4:

1. Go to Settings Manager -> Settings Editor -> xfce4 keyboard shortcuts.

2. Click on New, and type in:

  • Property: /commands/custom/<Alt>1 #You may change <Alt>1 to other key combination.
  • Type: String
  • Value: skippy-xd --activate-window-picker
xfce4 add custom shortcut key

xfce4 add custom shortcut key

Auto start Skippy-XD daemon at login:

Go to Settings Manager -> Session and Startup -> Application Autostart. Click on Add button, type in name and command skippy-xd --start-daemon

I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu 5+ years ago and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me on Google Plus or email to ubuntuhandbook1@gmail.com