This is on a RHEL6 system using GNOME (but it happens on Debian as well). I use an application called xchat and if you hide it using the icon in the notification area (as opposed to minimizing using window button) of the panel it will hide and only show an icon in the notification area. You can then re-activate it and pop up the window clicking that same icon.

This all works fine and keeps the panel area where most apps have a button less cluttered.

However if you restart the panel, either by hand using kill -1 or it restarts as a result of an update the icon in the notification area disappears and there is no way to pop up the xchat window, but the process is still running fine.

I was wondering if there is a way to display or "pop up" this application's window using some commands or some special tool. Right now I am forced to kill and restart it.

  • 1
    I assume you tried the obvious, double click and right click. – terdon Mar 10 '14 at 19:37
  • Yes I tried those and other things (alt tab for example). – aseq Mar 11 '14 at 4:53
  • I figured you would have, I just wanted to make it explicit, you never know. – terdon Mar 11 '14 at 5:01

You could see if the window is hiding somewhere by using the wmctrl command to list the windows known to your instance of X11.


$ wmctrl -l
0x02600007 -1 greeneggs.bubba.net Desktop
0x01a0005d  0 greeneggs.bubba.net linux - How to pop up "hidden" X application - Unix & Linux Stack Exchange - Google Chrome
0x02a00006 -1 greeneggs.bubba.net saml@greeneggs:~

If you see your window in this list then you might be able to summon it to the front using the command line tool xdotool.


$ xdotool windowactivate '0x01a0005d'

The above is the window ID from the wmctrl command I previously showed.

  • Thanks for the help, I will try it out tomorrow, don't have access to the system right now. – aseq Mar 11 '14 at 4:52
  • Unfortunately the xchat application did not show up in the "wmctrl -l" list. I guess it's not salvageable. Still marking as accepted answered since it's very helpful. – aseq Mar 11 '14 at 23:48

XChat can run commands in existing instances, and the command you want is "gui show"

$ xchat -e -c "gui show"

  • Thanks, I will test it out and let you know whether it works. – aseq Jul 30 '15 at 1:54

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