Exposé with Skippy-xd in Dom0 (Gnome alternative to "Activity")


In Gnome Desktop Environment, there is an “Activity” button or you can press “Supper” key that exposes all open windows on the desktop like Exposé in Mac.

I have finally got time to test Skippy-XD in Qubes - and it works perfect in XFCE Dom0. While the steps how I got it to work are still fresh in my memory I thought to share them with our community. Please note that the below steps may change because of different software versions in the future.

I have: Qubes 4.1.1, Kernel 5.15.89-1.fc32.qubes.x86_64, XFCE 4.14

  1. Get Fedora 32 template by running in Dom0:

[user@dom0 Downloads]$ sudo qubes-dom0-update qubes-template-fedora-32

This step is important because dom0 runs Fedora 32 and compiled skippy-xd from Fedora 36 won’t work in dom0 because it would ask for glibc-devel of a newer version that Fedora 32 does not have.

  1. Create AppVM using Fedora 32. I have used disposable VM in my case. Open this AppVM and compile Skippy-XD
[user@disp4468 ~]$ sudo dnf install git make gcc pkgconfig libwnck3-devel libX11-devel libXcomposite-devel libXdamage-devel cairo-devel pango-devel giflib-devel libjpeg-turbo-devel
[user@disp4468 ~]$ git clone https://github.com/richardgv/skippy-xd.git
[user@disp4468 ~]$ cd skippy-xd/
[user@disp4468 skippy-xd]$ make
[user@disp4468 skippy-xd]$ sudo make install
  1. Now copy compiled skippy-xd and config file to Dom0
[user@dom0 Downloads]$ qvm-run --pass-io disp4468 'cat /usr/bin/skippy-xd' > /home/user/Downloads/skippy-xd
[user@dom0 Downloads]$ qvm-run --pass-io disp4468 'cat /etc/xdg/skippy-xd.rc' > /home/user/Downloads/skippy-xd.rc
  1. Move compiled and config files:
[user@dom0 Downloads]$ sudo mv skippy-xd /usr/bin/
[user@dom0 Downloads]$ sudo chmod 755 /usr/bin/skippy-xd
[user@dom0 Downloads]$ mkdir ~/.config/skippy-xd
[user@dom0 Downloads]$ cp skippy-xd.rc ~/.config/skippy-xd/
  1. You might also need to install giflib-devel in dom0

[user@dom0 Downloads]$ sudo qubes-dom0-update giflib-devel

  1. Edit config file (optional)

[user@dom0 Downloads]$ nano ~/.config/skippy-xd/skippy-xd.rc

and set background = orig mid mid #36454F and in [Normal] opacity = 255

  1. add to Dom0 startup System Tools > Session and Start-up > Application Autostart command: skippy-xd --start-daemon

  2. Add shortcut in System Tools > Keyboard > Application Shortcuts command: skippy-xd --toggle-window-picker and I got it set to F9 - you can set your own.

I hope this will help to increase your productivity.


If you switch to KDE, you get this functionality for free.
You can configure a key press, or screen corners, to show all open windows, or filter the
display by Activity, or desktop.

I never presume to speak for the Qubes team. When I comment in the Forum or in the mailing lists I speak for myself.