Minimize Evolution mail client into system tray with KDocker

One feature that I personally think Evolution lack of compared to other linux mail clients such as KMail is the ability to dock into systray. I don’t like my task bars to be to crowded with opened applications but I need Evolution to stay open always so that I will be notified for any new incoming mails. Since Evolution don’t have built in function for the above objective, I have to find a third party applications to achieve the intended goal. The solution I seek should cover both Gnome and KDE desktop environment as I use both interchangeably.

I found 3 solutions, Mail Notification (MailNotify), Alltray and KDocker.

After some brief reading, I’ve decided to test out either Alltray or KDocker. Mailnotify seems quite good but I believe both Alltray and KDocker offer more due to their ability to handle any types of applications apart from mail clients.

Unfortunately for Alltray, I cannot find the package installer by using Synaptic (I’m using Ubuntu). I’m not sure whether I have to do some changes to the package repository or the package was indeed unavailable. To save time, I guess I could try KDocker instead for the time being.

Using Synaptic, I manage to find and install kdocker. I select the package and start the installation process.



Ok, the packages has been installed successfully. But the question now is, how can I use it? I cannot find any of the shortcut within my Ubuntu’s Gnome menu.

I launch terminal console, and type ‘kdocker evolution &‘. As expected, the evolution started and within split second being minimized automatically into the systray.


Clicking the icon will make evolution came out from it’s hiding place. Clicking minimize button will make evolution goes back into the system tray. Clicking on close button make evolution exit and we need to type the above command all over again.

So now, I need to find some way so that I don’t have to use terminal console each time I want to launch kdocker-evolution session. One way I found is to edit the evolution mail shortcut and put kdocker at the front of the command line.

So I right-click the evolution shortcut located near to the system menu and select properties


and I add ‘kdocker’ at the front of the command line


From now on, whenever I click on the shortcut evolution will be started along with kdocker and will be minimized to systray instead of the taskbar.

So it’s time to test the above methods on KDE (Kubuntu).

Using ther terminal console with the same command ‘kdocker evolution &‘ produces the same result.


The same process also could be done to Evolution mail shortcut

Right click on the evolution shortcut and select ‘edit item’


Add kdocker at the front of evolution command line.


Close when finish, and select save when asked. Changes will be applied and evolution will now minimized into the system tray.

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30 thoughts on “Minimize Evolution mail client into system tray with KDocker”

  1. the alltray package is in the universe repo and works pretty much the same, it has one big advantage though: if you click on “close” the application gets minimized to tray instead of being closed.

  2. Thanks for this. Very useful tip.

    When I click on the Evolution shortcut though, it shows the window briefly and then minimizes it. Not the behavior I was expecting.

    But if you add the -m option to kdocker, it will show up the Evolution without it mimizing to the tray immediately.

  3. Thanks for the piece of information.
    Do you know whether it can also handle mail notification ? Is there, for instance, a way to change the look of the icon in the system tray whenever a new mail arrives ?

  4. Thanks a lot for this. I’ve been using AllTray until I started using Beryl which doesn’t support AllTray (or is it the other way around :)). I tried kdocker and setup my launcher for evolution with the console command to use kdocker and everything works great.

  5. I got it working:

    Just go to System \ Preferences \ Preferred Applications

    and choose custom: then add kdock evolution %s

    and ignore the warning message from evolution

  6. very much appreciated sir, took only a few seconds, now i can have evolution startup when i log on and auto minimized much apprecicated

  7. Yes! Great job … exactly what I was looking for, work flawlessly, good instructions, etc … thanks.

  8. Thanks a lot for all coments and the very nice HOWTO.
    Thanks and 4 the -m option – it’s great.
    Best regards to all in thi tip πŸ™‚ .

  9. Perfect!!! Just what Iwas looking for.

    I installed Alltray using Synaptic in Ubuntu Hardy… I don’t even know how my repositories are configured, but Alltray was there…

    Thank you very much

  10. Excellent tutorial, but in Ubuntu 9.10, AllTray is available in the repositories. I just installed it through Synaptic. To run Evolution (or any application, for that matter) in AllTray, open a terminal or press alt F2, and type “alltray evolution” without the quotes. Add this command to your Startup Applications to make it run at startup. Hope this helps some of the users out there!

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