Thursday, August 02, 2007

GTK system tray icon example

It's hard to find an example of system tray icon example. In the past, we should use libegg, but this library is deprecated. The current option, when using GTK, is the Status Icon. GTK implements freedesktop's System Tray specification and works on any desktop environment that is compliant (like KDE or GNOME).

I created a very simple example to help other people to solve this problem more quickly in the future:


void tray_icon_on_click(GtkStatusIcon *status_icon,
gpointer user_data)
printf("Clicked on tray icon\n");

void tray_icon_on_menu(GtkStatusIcon *status_icon, guint button,
guint activate_time, gpointer user_data)
printf("Popup menu\n");

static GtkStatusIcon *create_tray_icon() {
GtkStatusIcon *tray_icon;

tray_icon = gtk_status_icon_new();
g_signal_connect(G_OBJECT(tray_icon), "activate",
G_CALLBACK(tray_icon_on_click), NULL);
G_CALLBACK(tray_icon_on_menu), NULL);
"Example Tray Icon");
gtk_status_icon_set_visible(tray_icon, TRUE);

return tray_icon;

int main(int argc, char **argv) {
GtkStatusIcon *tray_icon;

gtk_init(&argc, &argv);
tray_icon = create_tray_icon();

return 0;

Don't forget to compile with GTK libraries.

There are some other aspects when implementing a tray icon and you want to minimize to tray, such as:

- Hide/Show window to avoid minimizing it to the task bar (yes, use gtk_widget_hide() and gtk_widget_show()) when the user clicks on the system tray icon
- Listen to the "window-state-event" (GObject's signal) to detect when minimizing and, instead of doing that, hide the window (ie, "minimize to the tray").

Finally, in case you experienced something interesting concerning system tray icons, please share with us.

Love - Wim Wenders

"I don't want to do anything anymore that's doesn't come out of an act of love. And I think anything else you do out of any of other motive is a waste of time." -- Wim Wenders

Conviction - Wim Wenders

"I realize more and more that's not worth it doing anything that you can't really do without full conviction". -- Wim Wenders

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Climbing the corporate ladder sucks

"Blog: I spent a good part of my life obsessed with climbing the corporate ladder. And for what? Because I was programmed to do it. I had sacrificed everything in the name of obsession."

Read more here.