Is there any way that I can make a window on my X windowing system (Ubuntu/Gnome/Compiz) to be click-through? i.e. when I click on it, the click is actually sent to the window beneath it.

The background of this is that I was searching for a decent analog clock for my desktop, and found cairo-clock to be what I need, only that I cannot click through it, and there's no option for that. So I am searching for a generic xorg/compiz level solution to this problem, that I can apply on any window of my choice.

  • did you ever find a generic solution? I am looking for a way to do this with vlc – user230910 Jul 20 '16 at 7:32

After trying with this specific problem, I came to a solution involving theme SVG files. (cairo-clock uses a theme with various SVG files).

So the solution was editing the .svg files and changing any element opacity to any value below 50%, then re-launching the app! and suddenly all <50% opacity areas are click-through-able!

I believe this behavior is inherited from Cairo graphics framework, and it would apply to other similar situations.

I did a blog post on the issue, for further reading: Click through "Cairo Clock" widget.

  • Some searching suggested that this is actually a feature of the Compiz plugin "Opacity, Brightness and Saturation" instead of Cairo. – Bobby Jan 17 '14 at 13:54
  • Just did a metacity --replace, now neither transparent nor semi-transparent areas of the SVG files are honored, which is expected. But the strange part is: Click-through-ability is preserved, I can still click-through all pixels that were transparent or <50% transparent! – aularon Jan 17 '14 at 15:11

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