Where is the "system tray"?

I have been liking i3-wm quite a lot. One thing I couldn’t figure out was, where is the system tray? Some programs like chat apps do not close when I hit the close button but get minimized to the system tray. There is no way to actually close them.

But where is the system tray / how to enable it?

EOS nicely documented the setup here. And it does include a tray-icons. It’s just that the default config says to i3 display tray-icons only on the primary output (display / monitor). But on my system the primary output is not automatically set.

To set the primary output:

First determine your primary output:

❯ xrandr
Screen 0: minimum 8 x 8, current 1920 x 1080, maximum 16384 x 16384
VGA-0 disconnected primary (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
DVI-D-0 disconnected (normal left inverted right x axis y axis)
HDMI-0 connected 1920x1080+0+0 (normal left inverted right x axis y axis) 527mm x 296mm

For me it’s HDMI-0, so I will set it as primary:

❯ xrandr --output HDMI-0 --auto --primary

Vola! I see the tray icons on the i3bar.

But if you restart your computer, the primary display is unset. So you need to find a way to make it permanent.

I chose autostart feature of i3:

  • Open ~/.config/i3/config
  • Add this line: exec --no-startup-id xrandr --output HDMI-0 --auto --primary (If HDMI-0 is your primary display)

No having an option to set tray on all monitors is annoying actually.

Did you also have this problem of “tray” not showing up on your new EOS i3-wm installation?

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