I am running on Arch Linux using Openbox as the window manager. I want to assign icons to some programs that are using the generic icon.

This is helpful because when I do an Alt-Tab, I will know the program based on the icon it shows. Currently, I have some programs, like Xterm and Xpdf, using the default icon and doing an Alt-Tab when both are open can be confusing.

I have Firefox, Geany and Leafpad installed and I noticed that they have icons during an Alt-Tab.

So how do I set this up for the other programs that don't?

2 Answers 2


If you are talking about icons in your panel (like tint2, for example), then you can use xseticon (there is a PKGBUILD in AUR).

You can set an icon for an application like so:

xseticon -id "$WINDOWID" path/to/icon.png
  • I am not using Tint2 or any panel for that matter. I just want to change the icon of the program when Alt-Tab is pressed.
    – baktin
    Commented Jul 16, 2011 at 11:44
  • Did you try xseticon? Did it not work?
    – jasonwryan
    Commented Jul 16, 2011 at 19:45
  • I just tried it now. And it works! Thanks for this.
    – baktin
    Commented Jul 17, 2011 at 15:01
  • And I also noticed that when I close the window that I have assigned an icon to, and reopen it, it goes back to the default icon (and not the one I assigned). :(
    – baktin
    Commented Jul 17, 2011 at 15:13
  • 1
    if [ "$TERM" = "rxvt-unicode-256color" ]; then xseticon -id "$WINDOWID" /usr/share/pixmaps/urxvtc.png fi
    – jasonwryan
    Commented Jul 19, 2011 at 19:55

As jasonwryan says, you can use xseticon to set the icon of windows. If you want to do this automatically, you can use Devil's Pie.

I created a small script that sets a window's icon based on the current GNOME icon theme (it can easily be adapted to work with KDE). Here it is.

The corresponding Devil's Pie configuration looks like:

(spawn_sync "/path/to/set-xdg-icon.sh" (str (window_xid)))

This requires xseticon, pyxdg and xprop.

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