GNOME Swallow Meta-Applet 1.2

Swallow any X application into the Gnome 2 panel. Especially useful
for dock apps.


A very useful feature of original Gnome panel was the ability to "swallow" other programs -- to embed small applications in the panel, even if the application was not specifically written for Gnome. Unfortunately, with the release of Gnome 2 this feature was removed.
In a discussion on the Gnome mailing list, it was pointed out that this could feature could be easily re-added using a specialized "swallower" applet, and that such as solution would be cleaner and more modular besides. Despite this, no one (to my knowledge) had yet written such an applet...

The original author wrote this because his girlfriend had recently upgraded her Debian box from Gnome 1.4 to 2.2. When she discovered she couldn't use her rubber ducky CPU monitor ("wmbubble") she was PISSED. After determining that reverting her installation to Gnome 1.4 would be a huge hassle, he decided to take matters into own hands :-)


Right click on the Panel, select

Add to Panel->Utility->Swallower Meta-Applet

You will be presented with a dialog box with two text entry fields. The top field is the name of the applet that will be run. The bottom field is the name of the window to grab. If you leave this field blank, Swallower will use the name as the application. When you hit "Ok", Swallower will start the applet, then grab it and swallow it into the Panel.

Any swallowed apps on the panel when you log out will be restored the next time you start Gnome.


If you have an image for your panel background, it will not be displayed behind the swallowed applet. I attempted to implement this, but the panel-applet support library seems to be buggy (no other applets I could find support this either). Solid color backgrounds work correctly.

Transparent panel backgrounds are also buggy, and switching to a transparent background and then to different kind of background may cause the swallower to crash.

Swallowed applets arn't explicitly killed when the applet closes (although they seem to die anyway, probably because they are losing their parent window).

Some dock applets do something very weird: they will end up displaying two windows, one of which is correctly swallowed, the other of which is still under the control of the window manager! "wmbubble" and "wmfire" both do this. The workaround is to iconify the extra window :-) If you have any idea how to fix this, please email me!

Other Stuff

Copyright 2003 Peter Amstutz.
Copyright 2007, 2011 Mario Frasca.
It is licenced under the GNU General Public License.

The code to do the actual window swallowing is based off of code by
Caolan McNamara

the first version of this program was written in two days, learning how to
program for GTK+ and GNOME from scratch in the process :-)