Keep application running (e.g. chat, backup) upon "close"

My question is about applications which typically start automatically and which you’d like to keep running. Think chat, file backup, etc…

When running Ubuntu this would work as follows: once the application window was open I could click the “x” button to close the window. This would close the window but NOT shutdown the program. Instead, the program icon would continue to appear in one of two locations: upper right or lower left of the screen. Hence the application would continue to run. In order to shutdown the application, you could right-click on the application icon or go to File > Quit. This was great for tools that should keep running without cluttering the usual “open applications” icons shown on the left-hand side of GNOME.

How can you get this effect in PureOS? When I click “x” on the application it will simply shutdown the application. Hence, I must click “-” to minimize it. But, this has the issue of cluttering the open application icons shown on the left-hand side. These are like background applications and so having a separate place for their icons and saying that “x” means close window and NOT shutdown application was nice.

Any advice on this?

One of the reasons why I prefer KDE Plasma :wink:
With Gnome you need a plugin like TopIcons.
Look here:

I usually right click on the title bar. Then a little menu pops up and I select ‘minimize’. That is what the little “-” used to do, minimize the app.

Thanks @Caliga. I didn’t realize there was a ideological debate behind this. I’ll try the GNOME extensions for now.

@jeremiah, the links shared by Caliga capture the matter I’m describing.

Thank you both.


As far as I know KDE/Plasma does need less resoureces than Gnome or Ubuntu. That is one of the many reasons I use it.

That’s named “tray icon” and it’s deprecated in Gnome, the idea it’s to work with workspaces you can move the window you want to leave in background to another “desktop” and move trough desktops when you need it.

@hier, thanks for sharing more info about your experience with KDE/Plasma. I’ll keep that in mind as a plan B. To be honest, one of drivers for paying for Purism’s laptop was for things to “just work” and avoid making changes. I’d say this has been partly true.

@uzanto, your links and description were spot on! I had tried those gnome icon extensions and could get none to work to my satisfaction (installation error on some and others were overly sensitive to where the mouse must be for you to “click” and open the application).

For anyone else having this issue I believe the 4 minutes it took to read @uzanto’s post links is the proper GNOME answer. It doesn’t give the tray icons but gives a workflow that was designed to be slick and work.

Thank you again for everyone’s time on this!

1 Like