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A full-screen Exposé-style standalone task switcher for X11.
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Skippy-XD a full-screen, expose-style, task-switcher for X11. You know that thing Mac OS X, Gnome 3, Compiz and KWin do where you press a hotkey and suddenly you see miniature versions of all your windows at once? Skippy-XD does just that.

Originally mirrored from the Google Code project this GitHub repo hosts the code of a fork from the original 0.5.0 release (2004), initially maintained by Nick Watts (2011) and Richard Grenville (2013).

Skippy-XD is a standalone application for providing a window picker with live previews (including live video) on Linux desktops that run an X server with compositing support. That means it's not baked into the window manager, and compositing is used only when the window picker is active.

The performance of your window manager isn't degraded, and you get a window picker that's every bit as elegant as OSX's Exposé or KWin's "Present Windows", with all the desktop-navigational efficiency.

You can see a demo on YouTube.


If you're using Ubuntu, you may simply install via the Skippy-XD PPA. (or the daily PPA).

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:landronimirc/skippy-xd
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install skippy-xd

From Source

To compile Skippy-XD from source you need to install the following development packages:

apt-get install libimlib2-dev libfontconfig1-dev libfreetype6-dev libx11-dev libxext-dev libxft-dev 
libxrender-dev zlib1g-dev libxinerama-dev libxcomposite-dev libxdamage-dev libxfixes-dev libxmu-dev

Now get the source, build and install:

git clone
cd skippy-xd
make install


Config file

Download the original skippy-xd.rc-default config file and copy it to ~/.config/skippy-xd/skippy-xd.rc and edit it to your liking.

Command Line

Once Skippy-XD is installed, you can run it by entering skippy-xd at the command line. This will start the program, activate the window picker once, then exit. However, starting the program produces a brief flicker, so its better to keep the application running in the background as a daemon and just activate it when you want to use the window picker.

To run the daemon, use the following command:

skippy-xd --start-daemon

If for whatever reason you need to cleanly stop the running daemon, do this:

skippy-xd --stop-daemon

Once the daemon is running you can use the following command to activate it:

skippy-xd --activate-window-picker

However, sometimes pressing the Return key to run this last command also causes the window to be selected, so it is probably more effective in testing to do this:

sleep 0.5 && skippy-xd --activate-window-picker

Alternatively, you can use the included toggle script, which starts the daemon, if it isn't already started, and activates the window picker:


or, with the path to your configuration file:

skippy-xd-toggle /PATH/TO/YOUR/CONFIG

Keyboard Shortcuts

Typically, it is helpful to set up keyboard shortcuts for skippy-xd. To get you started, here are some links:

A good method is to set skippy-xd --start-daemon to be run after login, and bind a key (like SUPER_L [windows key] or F9) to , skippy-xd --toggle-window-picker, or skippy-xd-toggle.


Admittedly, skippy-xd is not yet perfect. Sometimes it will just stop working, but it doesn't seem to be a crash (ps aux | grep skippy shows the daemon is still running).
To avoid this, your best option is to use the included toggle script:


or, with the path to your configuration file:

skippy-xd-toggle /PATH/TO/YOUR/CONFIG

See Also

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