Skippy (and Skippy-XD) is a full-screen task-switcher for X11. It will arrange and scale snapshots of all windows on the current desktop and it'll let you pick a window using a mouse or a keyboard. Skippy-XD provides 'live' (and updating) snapshots of the windows.


Lucid, Oneiric, Precise and later

A slightly modified version of Skippy-XD (forked from the 0.5.0 release) is hosted at Skippy-XD on Google Code. Among other things it fixes compilation for i386/amd64 architectures. This development snapshot is available for installation via the Skippy-XD PPA.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:landronimirc/skippy-xd
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install skippy-xd

Breezy or Dapper

If you have Breezy or Dapper, the original Skippy 0.5.0 package will be in the universe repository:

sudo apt-get install skippy

If not, you'll have to download the debian package:


and install it:

sudo dpkg -i skippy_0.5.0-1_i386.deb

Compilation from Source

To compile Skippy-XD from source you need to install the following development packages:

sudo apt-get install libimlib2-dev, libfontconfig1-dev, libfreetype6-dev, libx11-dev, libxext-dev, libxft-dev, libxrender-dev, zlib1g-dev, libxinerama-dev, libxcomposite-dev, libxdamage-dev, libxfixes-dev, libxmu-dev

Some of the above may be unnecessary, though, but it doesn't hurt to have them available. Next download the source:


You may also grab the Skippy-XD development code from Skippy-XD on Google Code, which should behave better than the original 0.5.0 release. Now unpack the archive and change directory. Then:

make install

For an older guide on how to compile Skippy from source see this thread.

Configuration and Usage


Download the original skippyrc-default config file or a customized version skippyrc-customized, and copy it to ~/.skippyrc and edit it to your liking. For example, you can change line 24 to read:


instead of F11. Otherwise use your Desktop Environment's facilities to set up a keyboard shortcut.

You can start the task-switcher with the following command:



Download the original skippy-xd.rc-default config file and copy it to ~/.config/skippy-xd/skippy-xd.rc and edit it to your liking.

For more advanced setup and usage instructions see the Skippy-XD Setup Guide on Google Code.


WARNING: Couldn't load config file

If you get such warning messages:

WARNING: Couldn't load config file '/home/stubby/.skippyrc'
X Error of failed request:  BadAccess (attempt to access private resource denied)

You are probably missing the .skippyrc file. See the Configuration section.

Frequent crashes

Unfortunately Skippy-XD has a tendency to crash rather often. If you installed it from the Skippy-XD PPA, then you're advised to use skippy-xd-activate to activate the task-switcher (if the daemon is already running); the simple bash script will introduce a small delay before calling Skippy-XD, and this tends to increase reliability. If the plugin has already crashed, then use a different keyboard shortcut for skippy-xd-restart, another simple script that will clean up and restart Skippy-XD daemon.

External Links