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This page (from MX Linux user asqwerth) describes the ability to open programs or activate certain actions/effects by moving the cursor over a specified corner of the desktop .

The XFCE Panel Hot Corner plugin has not been maintained for some time and no longer works in MX17. We would recommend installing Compiz (which is available as a one-click install under the Popular Apps tab of the MX Package Installer) in order to enjoy not just the hot corner functionality but also so much more. However, if you prefer not to install Compiz yet wish to have hot corners working in XFCE, we can suggest the bl-hotcorners script from Bunsenlabs Linux distro. A how-to is set out below. Meanwhile, please note that xfdashboard still works to give you the expose/windows overview functionality but if hotcorners are not enabled, you will have to trigger xfdashboard some other way, e.g. by a keyboard shortcut or via a launcher button on the panel.

Installation of bl-hotcorners

  • Go to Bunsenlabs page here:… and select/copy all the lines of the python script within the box. Open an empty text file and paste the text within. Save the file as “bl-hotcorners” (no quotation marks in the file name, or suffixes). Right click on the file to call up “Properties”, and in the Permissions tab, choose to make the file executable.
  • Open up Synaptic and install the following 4 packages, if not already installed:
    * python
    * python-xlib
    * wmctrl
    * xdotool
  • Open Thunar (file manager) as root by right-clicking on any empty part of your desktop and selecting the option from the context menu. Navigate to the /usr/bin/ folder and paste a copy of the bl-hotcorners file in the folder. Close the Root Thunar after that.
  • Open a terminal and run the command ‘ bl-hotcorners –daemon & ‘ for the first time. This first run of bl-hotcorners will create a configuration file called ‘ $HOME/.config/bl-hotcorners/bl-hotcornersrc ‘. Now open the said rc file with a text editor to edit it to set the actions you wish to be triggered at each of the 4 corners of the screen. You can leave a corner blank if you don’t wish it to do anything.
  • Below is an example of the settings you can place in the rc text file:
    * top_left_corner_command = skippy-xd –activate-window-picker
    * top_right_corner_command = xfdashboard
    * bottom_left_corner_command =
    * bottom_right_corner_command = xdotool key ctrl+alt+d
  • In the above example, the top right corner is set to run xfdashboard (see the next section of this article; you need to have installed xfdashboard already in order to use it with bl-hotcorners).
    The bottom right corner is set to show the desktop (ie, minimise all opened windows). The xdotool program simulates keyboard entries, and ctrl+alt+d is the standard keyboard shortcut to show the desktop, in XFCE.
    You can set the corners to run specific programs or actions. Save the rc file after you have edited it.
  • You now need to make bl-hotcorners autostart whenever you log into your XFCE desktop. Go to XFCE Settings ==> Session and Startup ==> autostart tab. Add an entry to the list of autostart programs by clicking on the “add” button at the bottom left corner of the Settings window. Give this entry a name (e.g. “Hot Corners”) and fill in the command field with

    bash -c ‘bl-hotcorners –daemon &’

  • If the hotcorners do not appear to have activated, log out and in again to get it started.

Expose/Windows Overview function

Caution: Your computer should have sufficient graphics capability to handle compositing, for this to work. Click on XFCE Settings (the console icon on your panel) ==> Window Manager Tweaks ==> Compositing tab, and tick the box to enable compositing effects.

If you keep many windows opened on your desktop, it is useful to be able to display an overview of all opened windows with one gesture so that it is easy to select the one you want. There are 2 different ways to enable this windows overview and both require the installation of additional packages. One has more functions than showing the opened windows overview, while the other [not tested in mX17] provides purely the overview mode.

Method 1: Xfdashboard

Xfdashboard (=“XfD”) resembles Gnome 3’s expose + search + workspace chooser overview. You not only have overview mode, you can close windows from within, search for applications or files just by starting to type the search term, and choose which workspace you wish to access.

  • First, install XfD using Synaptic Package Manager. Refer to Section 5.3 of this manual to learn how to use Synaptic.
  • See the above section of this article for instructions on how to set it up to work with hot corners.

Installing XfD adds its own settings preferences to XFCE Settings. You may use those settings within XFCE Settings Manager to, for example, change themes. We would recommend trying the other themes as they appear more polished than the default theme. Below is XfD’s overview mode using the alternate dark theme.

Method 2: skippy-xd (“skippy”) [update Jan 2019: the recompiled skippy-xd package in MX repos works]

See this video to see skippy-xd in action in MX14.4

Skippy provides a simple overview of all opened windows in the current workspace for selection by the user. Install skippy-xd using Synaptic [Note: in MX14, you will need to enable the MX community test repository to install it, then disable the repo again. See section 5.2.2 of the Manual]. You now need to activate it as follows:

  • Go to XFCE Settings ==> Session and Startup ==> autostart tab
  • Add an entry to the list of autostart programs by clicking on the “add” button at the bottom left corner of the Settings window. Give this entry a name (e.g. “skippy”) and fill in the command field with “skippy-xd –start-daemon” [no quotation marks]
  • Edit the bl-hotcornersrc file (see first section of this article) and add this skippy command: “skippy-xd –activate-window-picker” [no quotation marks] to whichever corner you choose.
  • You may now have to log out and in again to activate skippy in bl-hotcorners.

Keyboard shortcuts

For both XfD and skippy, you can also set up keyboard shortcuts to activate them.

  • Go to XFCE Settings ==> Keyboard and click on the Application Shortcuts tab.
  • Click “Add” and in the window that pops up, enter “xfdashboard” or “skippy-xd –activate-window-picker” [no quotation marks] as the command, then click OK.
  • You will next be prompted to press a keyboard shortcut which will be used to show Xfdashboard/skippy. Enter the key combination you want to use, making sure that the key combination you’ve set isn’t already in use.

v. 20171218

1 thought on “HotCorner”

  1. In my version of MX-Linux it’s “bl-hotcorners -d &” instead of “bl-hotcorners -deamon &”.

    Otherwise, thank you very much for this tutorial. I wouldn’t use MX-Linux for to long without any possibility to switch to the desktop quickly and highly appreciate your advice.

    To all the readers: You can also reconfigure the script itself. I set bounce to 0 to get complete rid of, increased the check_ interval(l) to 0.1 and also decreased the time.sleep value on each statement to 1 to make the program as responsive as possible.


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