Archives For November 30, 1999

This simple tutorial shows how to add a “Show Desktop” icon to the top panel in Ubuntu 22.04 and Ubuntu 24.04 with default Wayland session.

I’ve written about how to add ‘Show Desktop’ to the left dock panel, however, it works for the class Xorg session only. Since 22.04, Ubuntu switched to Wayland as its default display server. If you switched back to Xorg (via the gear icon in login screen), then this tutorial still works.

For GNOME (the default desktop) on Wayland, the thing can be done via a simple extension. And, here’s how to do it step by step.

Step 1: Install Extension Manager

Ubuntu has an “Extension Manager” tool in system repository, which allows to easily install and manage Gnome Shell extensions.

First, search for and install the tool from either Ubuntu Software or App Center, depends on your Ubuntu edition.

Install Extension Manager in Ubuntu Software/App Center

Or, press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal, and run single command to install the tool:

sudo apt install gnome-shell-extension-manager

Step 2: Install the ‘Show Desktop’ button extension

After installing the Extension Manager, search for and launch it from the overview screen.

When the tool opens, navigate to ‘Browse’ tab, finally search and install the “Show Desktop Button” extension.

A ‘Home’ icon should appear immediately on the top-panel after installed the extension. By clicking on it, will hide (or show) all open app windows.

For choice, you can switch back “Installed” tab in Extension Manager, and open the preferences dialog for the extension. In which, you can choose to place the ‘Show Desktop’ icon in left, far left, center, right, or far right corner.

In addition, you may also install “Just Perfection” extension using Extension Manager. Which provides an Panel Button Padding Size option under Customize tab, to make the top-right panel icons look more compact.

That’s all. Enjoy!

This simply tutorial shows how to add a ‘Show Desktop‘ icon into the left dock panel in Ubuntu 21.10, Ubuntu 20.04, or Ubuntu 18.04 with default GNOME desktop.

The ‘Show Desktop‘ button was dropped since Ubuntu switched to Gnome 3 Desktop. For those using desktop app shortcuts, it’s useful to have a button to toggle display blank desktop quickly. And to add it back, you can manually create shortcut icon to do the trick and add it to panel (dock).

As you may know, the keyboard shortcuts Ctrl+Alt+d or Super+d do the function hide or show all opened app windows. And following steps will create a ‘show desktop’ shortcut icon simulates the keyboard press (Super+d) via the xdotool tool.

NOTE that following steps don’t work on Wayland session, since xdotool simulates X11 keyboard/mouse input events.

1. Install xdotool:

Xdotool is a command-line X11 automation tool, that allows to simulate keyboard input and mouse activity, move and resize windows, etc.

To install it, open terminal either by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T key combination on keyboard, or by searching from the activities overview screen. When terminal opens, paste the command below into it and hit run:

sudo apt-get install xdotool

Type your user password (no asterisk feedback) when it prompts and answer y to confirm.

2. Create a shortcut icon for Show Desktop:

Most Linux distributions identify app shortcut icons via .desktop file under “/usr/share/applications” for global or ‘.local/share/applications’ for local user only.

To create an app shortcut in the case, run command in terminal:

gedit ~/.local/share/applications/show-desktop.desktop

This command will create and also open it via gedit text editor. When the file opens, copy and paste the lines below and save it.

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Show Desktop
Exec=xdotool key --clearmodifiers Super+d

3. Add show desktop to dock panel:

After created the shortcut, either press Windows (or Super) key on keyboard or click upper-left corner ‘Activities’ to bring up the overview screen.

Then search for ‘Show Desktop’ (without quotes), right-click on the result icon and select ‘Add to Favorites’.

Finally, you’ll see the ‘Show Desktop’ icon on the dock panel. As mentioned, it works only on Xorg session. For Ubuntu 21.04 and higher, you may need to choose ‘Ubuntu on Xorg‘ from the login screen via the gear button.

That’s all. Enjoy!

This quick tip is going to show beginners how to enable workspaces and add ‘show desktop’ shortcut icon on Unity Launcher in Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy.

Ubuntu 13.10 Saucy Salamander final is to be released on October 17th. Now it’s in beta 2.

By default, the Unity session only provide one working desktop. You can easily enable multi workspaces by following steps:

1.) Go to Unity Dash. Search for and open Appearance utility.

ubuntu appearance

2.) When it opens, navigate to Behavior tab. Check the box which says “Enable Workspaces”, then you’ll get a shortcut icon on Unity Launcher which provides the ability to show and switch between workspaces.

enable workspaces unity

As well as that, check the box “Add show desktop icon to the launcher”.