Xfce4 Skype Indicator With Genmon

It’s really easy to create a simple indicator for Xfce4 Panel using genmon plugin (pacman -S xfce4-genmon-plugin). I’ve created a CPU, RAM and Skype indicators, all of which can be found in my dotfiles repository in genmon folder.

Genmon Plugin on Xfce4

The CPU and RAM indicators simply show current CPU / RAM consumption.

The Skype indicator is a little bit different story. Due to an incredibly unappealing and useless default status icon of Skype, I wanted to create a simple replacement.

I’ve created something similar for Gnome Shell in past, using dbus. This time though, I’ve used much simpler method.

My workflow is such that I have Skype conversations window always open on a particular desktop, and all notifications off. I really dislike popups, sounds or blinking icons.

My objective was:

  • simple minimalistic grayscale icon,
  • change icon’s color when a new message is received,
  • when clicked, focus Skype conversations window.


  • Skype is running,
  • conversations window is open.

So, poor man’s solution:

messages=$(wmctrl -l | grep Skype™ | awk '{ print $4 }' | grep -i '\[[0-9]*\]' | cut -d ] -f 1 | cut -d [ -f 2)

When Skype message is received window’s title is changed from Username - Skype™ to [1]Username - Skype™, the above command just take the list of all opened windows, grab Skype™, grab first column, grab [N] (if there) and finally grab the actual number.

In next step, script check if there’s a number, and if that’s the case colored icon is used, otherwise grayscale.

Finally click is handeled with my existing script to Skype™ which will move focus to Skype window.