When I start typing but no application has focus, a small window is displayed in the corner of the desktop. Any ideas what it is and what can it be used for? Pressing Enter just closes it. enter image description here

Writing a command inside it has no effects (I tried with /usr/bin/xterm which normally starts an xterm, and with /usr/bin/touch /home/choroba/ABCD, but the file wasn't created).

  • 1
    Huh... I thought I knew everything an end-user could know about LXDE and this is entirely new to me. Never noticed it before. Quite some time ago, there was some discussion about adding a search functionality to LXDE and this may be an artifact of that. I don't have any older versions to check against to see when it appeared. If you don't get an answer here, you may want to try their mailing lists to ask the devs directly.
    – KGIII
    Sep 3, 2020 at 21:02
  • can you use xprop utility to get some info about this window? Sep 10, 2020 at 11:20

1 Answer 1


I think it's the search box of PCManFM file manager.

  • The text in it is used to locate a file by file name.
    • The first matched file will be selected automatically, so that when you press ENTER, the selected file will be opened/issued, and the search box will be closed.

    • If no file matched (like your case), then no file will be selected, press ENTER will just close the search box.

    • The file name matching logic seems to be:

      "file name".startsWith ("text in search box")

  • After a short time with no key input, this search box will be closed.

search box in Desktop

search box in PCManFM file manager

I saw a search box in Caja file manager too, but search box will not shown when typing in the desktop (MATE Desktop).

  • Nice. It works if I have files on my desktop (I never do) but didn't seem to do anything with pcmanfm - though it could be my dark theme hiding any highlighting.
    – KGIII
    Sep 10, 2020 at 14:36

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