Auto-start of Zotero on Linux, with _minimized_ window.

_[ Zotero 5.0-beta.172+8edd4b0 on Ubuntu 14.04 with FF 52.0.1 and LO 5.3.12]_

Hello everybody,
My setup works flawlessly. As I used Zotero pretty much all the time, I arranged for it to auto launch at boot time. However I'd like it to launch with a minimized window by default. How do I do that ?
Thank you.
  • Haven't tested, but have you tried the -tray flag?
  • edited April 4, 2017


    Do you mean to "execute the app with the `-tray` flag" ?
    If so should I include that in the `zotero.desktop` file ?
    How should I go about doing this if the app is launched automatically at startup ?
  • How do you specify your start-up apps? I do this in the Startup Applications Preferences in Ubuntu, where you'd specify ~/pathtoZotero/zotero -tray as a command
  • @adamsmith:
    Tx for the answer. I experimented (only on my time off) with reboots and the flag `-tray` as you recommend. Nothing doing. specifying this in the Startup app with either `~/pathtoZotero/zotero -tray` or `~/pathtoZotero/zotero --tray` is ineffectual. Zotero always launches and opens its window on the desktop. I am stumped... Any other idea welcome.
  • nothing simple then, sorry. You can look at some of the general solutions here see if they work for you
  • I recommend the FireTray extension to you.

    But some modification is necessary to make it installable for zotero 5.0:
    1. Download the the extension as an xpi file.
    2. Open the xpi file with archive manager.
    3. Edit the file install.rdf to make it installable for zotero 5.0. (Change the maxVerision from 4.* to 5.* in the Zotero section)
    4. Save the file and archive manager will ask you to update the file (choose update, of course).

    Install the modified xpi file and restart zotero if needed. Then you can change the preference of FileTray and check the option "start application hidden to tray".

    If you find it change the firefox icon to an ugly one, just replace the firefox icon in the xpi file (./chrome/skin/icons/linux/hicolor/22x22/apps/firefox.png) with the one in you system. (I use the one /usr/share/pixmaps/firefox.png.)

    Tested in ubuntu 16.04 with zotero 5.0 beta.
  • edited April 7, 2017
    @duguyipiao: Thanks, I did not know about Firetray. It was not included in the solutions proposed by @adamsmith. I choose not to go down the way you kindly indicate, because I don't want to add bloat to an already heavy Ubuntu 14.04.5 desktop install (Unity, FF and all).

    The `wmctrl` route was promising (simple and lightweight). But apparently lightweight also means incomplete in that case. As incredible as it may sound, there is no `wmctrl` option to minimize any window at all. (someone, please shout if I'm wrong).

    in the end, the cleanest most lightweight solution seems to be that of Jacob Vlijm's python script solution, at

    The basic issue though is now the strange fact that `zotero` doesn't include any handle for the corresponding "launch-minimized" option on cli. I find it truly strange...

    I summarized below the "minimize window" flags I tried, when launching from cli:

    plus all of the above with two hyphens instead of one. Result: zilch !
  • (If you read the description of the wmctrl option, they actually don't claim that minimize exists. It's for closing windows after they open, which might have a similar effect on some apps, though not Zotero).

    I don't think Zotero not having a minimize flag is all _that_ unusual. It's not like people ask for it a lot and if the default -tray from mozilla doesn't work, it'd likely have been a good chunk of work to implement.
  • edited January 8, 2018
    @duguyipiao Thanks, your solution worked for me! Even though Firetray is discontinued, I'll probably make a fork of it to produce an amended version.

    UPDATE: Okay, I did it. It's here:
    I even have a one line command there for lazy people to get the .xpi file instantly.
  • Minimizing Zotero 5 to tray

    For those of you who, like me, want to keep Zotero in tray, there are some third party apps that do that:
    - TrayIt! (
    - RBTray, TrayEverything, Trayconizer (
    - you can make use of kdocker, because alltray is unsupported and does not work well anymore.
    I've made a bash script for using kdocker with zotero here:
Sign In or Register to comment.