Minimize to tray icon your Thunderbird (and anything) in Ubuntu Linux
I’ve been using Thunderbird for quite a while. When I was using Thunderbird on Windows, I’ve used this plugin called “Minimize to tray” which allows me to de-clutter my task bar and put Thunderbird into the Windows tray area as an icon. Now that I’m using Ubuntu, I’ve miss the plugin (it only works under Windows) and would want the same functionality in my Ubuntu Linux setup.
This morning, I tried searching for something that will give me the same functionality under my Ubuntu Linux. After a couple of Googling, I came upon a little Linux application which allows me to minimize my Thunderbird software into the Gnome panel notification area in Ubuntu. And guess what, not only can I minimize Thunderbird, I can also minimize any other application I want into the notification area. It’s a cool app to miss out on so I thought I’d write about it here and how to get it installed in your Ubuntu machine.
The Linux application is called AllTray by Jochen Baier. You can install in from the Ubuntu repository. Just type in the following command from a terminal window:
$ sudo apt-get install alltray
You’ll be prompted for your account password, so just enter your password to start the installation of the AllTray application. You’ll get a screen similar to the one below:
[sudo] password for kihbord:
Reading package lists… Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information… Done
The following NEW packages will be installed:
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed and 0 to remove.
Need to get 59.5kB of archives.
After this operation, 229kB of additional disk space will be used.
Get:1 http://archive.ubuntu.com hardy/universe alltray 0.69-1ubuntu1 [59.5kB]
Fetched 59.5kB in 1s (91.4kB/s)
Selecting previously deselected package alltray.
(Reading database … 163348 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking alltray (from …/alltray_0.69-1ubuntu1_i386.deb) …
Setting up alltray (0.69-1ubuntu1) …
Processing triggers for libc6 …
ldconfig deferred processing now taking place
After the installation, click the menu “Applications | Accessories” and you’ll find the AllTray icon. Click it to start using and you’ll get the following screen:
Just click on your Thunderbird window and AllTray will minimize Thunderbird into the Gnome notification
area complete with it’s own Thunderbird icon in place.
What’s so cool is that it also works with other Linux applications as well. You can minimize your terminal, Firefox applications and even Eclipse and Virtualbox into the Gnome notification area of Ubuntu.
Gerry Ilagan is into mobile apps and WordPress development at @speeqs. He loves to write about electronics, the Internet of Things, mobile phones, and #crazyideas.