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If I use Alt+F4 on Skype's main window in Windows-XP, it goes to the Windows System-tray, where I can still see and access it, but in Ubuntu, it simply disappears and I can't get it back. Skype is still running according to System Monitor.

Is there some way to bring back a hidden window? Am I doing something wrong?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

You should have a system tray in Ubuntu too. Anyway try to install trayer (a stand-alone system tray), just for a debugging purpose.

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I have an excuse: I've been a Windoze user for too long... I only know how to look down into the bottom right corner. . . The icon was in the top panel all along.. but I have it so that it auto retracts from view. Outof sight- out of mind :). . . Your "should have a system tray" comment got me thingking straight.. Thanks. – Peter.O Sep 26 '10 at 17:01

I found that xdotool does not always succeed in raising the window. But if you simply remove or rename ~/.Skype/shared.xml, you can recover the hidden window upon startup of skype.

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Skype has minimized to the Linux old-fashioned equivalent of the system tray. Right click on the top panel in a free area and select "Add to panel." You can find and add the "tray" from there.

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Thanks badp: I didnt understand this answer at first, but I now see what you mean... In the Add to Panel" menu, the "tray"is called "Notification Area", and I was looking for a Tray. . . . Just as an aside: While reading up on this matter, I came across this comment from Canonical (dated April 21, 2010): "Our roadmap is that in Ubuntu 11.04, one year from now, there will be no notification area." ... – Peter.O Sep 27 '10 at 13:32
@fred I know about that, hopefully the GUI portion of Skype will go foss before that :) – badp Sep 27 '10 at 16:36

Had the same problem with skype and Ubuntu 11.10.

I search for a commandline tool to active invisible or minimized windows and found "xdotool". Now I get my skype window back:

sudo aptitude install xdotool
xdotool search --class skype

this lists all window-ids associated with skype. Now I tested all listed numbers (NUMBER):

xdotool windowactivate NUMBER

and got my main windows and chat window back (in my case the last two process ids).

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Thanks Alex.. Yes, a good idea for autormating this action via a shortcut key... Since I originally asked this question, I've actually made use of a similar xdotools script .. but I hadn't used --class though... It looks like a handy opiton. – Peter.O Jan 26 '12 at 4:15
Because, in the long run, I wanted to be able to do this via the keyboard, the main problem was that when Skype was closed via Alt+F4 there is no visible window to display, although many are listed by the xdotool command. To bring up the main window, I eventually had to write a script which scanned the panel for the Skype icon and then send a mouse-click to that icon. It works, quite well, but it takes a lot of setting up; to be able to identify the icon, mainly because the icons changes its look, depending on status and pending messages, etc.. It was quite an experience writing it. :) – Peter.O Jan 26 '12 at 4:38
If you are interested in the script, you can find the prototype version on this AskUbunatu question/answer – Peter.O Jan 26 '12 at 4:42

I find that after a crash and reboot, the Skype login window would not appear on the screen sometimes even though Skype is started. I eventually realized it's because the lines in ~/.Skype/shared.xml that determine the window position (search for "Pos") get changed to some crazy values that cause the window to appear off the screen. By editing the file and restoring reasonable values, before starting Skype, the window appears normally again. Perhaps the same thing is occurring with your problem.

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