Basic thumbnail questions/problems


Alright, I read the forum rules and help me out with this- I have like 5 questions, and for some of them I can’t figure out if they’re questions, feedback, or bug reports, (and yea, I tried searching for them (one I think is definitely a bug so it’s probably been reported),

So- should I post them in seperate threads or all at once? Well, here’s a bunch, lemme know if I should split them up or not:

Most of my questions are centered around thumbnails and window management. For thumbnails- I figured out that I needed to switch to compiz. It’s really flawed though; unless I’m doing this wrong:

The doc is only showing one active window thumbnail per application.

The taskbar only shows thumbnails on mouse-over some of the time (and I still can’t figure out what the reasons is- when it will or when it stops).

Arrow keys don’t work on the alt-tab list, I have to do shift-tab to go backwards, but arrow keys don’t do it as in other WM’s (and windows)

Is there a way to cycle through windows with the mouse wheel?

Is there a way to roll up the taskbar icons into groups by application (as in cough vista?) Well- or in win 10 and Unity where you just mouse over and it shows you thumbs of all the open windows? Because my task bar is immediately crammed full of useless “…” tabs.

And does it have anything like in macos or win10 or unity where you get a screen full of thumbnails of all open windows?

Oh also- I think this one’s a bug- in MATE Tweak I turned unchecked “window snapping” and windows are still snapping. I should to to launchpad for that, right. I’ll try to find it first I bet it’s been reported a lot already.

I feel like I must be clueless here because it’s really difficult to navigate but it’s such a popular WM,



I’ll take a stab at a few of your problems… Tested on UM 18.04.1 with a “software compositing manager” and not Compiz.

(1) “… in MATE Tweak I turned unchecked “window snapping” and windows are still snapping.”
Works fine here. Window Snapping feature in Window Preferences now and not in MATE Tweak.

(2) “Arrow keys don’t work on the alt-tab list …”
Also works fine here.

(3) Task Bar? Do you mean “Window List”? “Window List” shows a tool tip with the complete window title if you pause on the item long enough.

(4) There used to be a way not only to get a screen full of thumbnails but a scaled map of the whole desktop on an additional monitor. Was mainly used for those folks with more than 2 displays. I haven’t used the desktop map feature in years…

(5) “… cycle through windows with the mouse wheel.”
Not that I’m aware of.



Ok. First of all thank you for responding, I was beginning to think nobody would. And disclaimer- I hope this doesn’t come across and “complaining”, well but just helping (I’m a programmer too for 20 years). So, like a doctor saying “patient complains of…”

In response to the following by your letter-indices
(1) So, I just went into menu->preferences->Windows. And I was shocked to see this!

I get a dialog window that says “The current window manager is unsupported.”

What could I possibly have done to make that happen? I mean this is a fresh naked install. My only guess is that- in trying to get window thumnails to work- I figured out to switch to compiz. So maybe that’s why it doesn’t like… I dunno… shrug.

(2) Arrow keys in alt tab still don’t work.

(3) task bar- well I thought that’s the term for the bottom of the screen with tabs of open windows (like in Windows). (Well I mean microsoft windows is always the frame-of-reference, right) … which I’m trying to get the hell away from haha!

Well see look- they call this the “taskbar”:

(4) I have two displays, (just fyi)

Thank you very much for responding.


The culprit is Compiz. I know in the development of MATE 18.04 there were some issues with Compiz on MATE.

I tested it here… Install compiz-mate and switch WM to compiz get “windows manager is unsupported” message.

I’m using plain Marco (no compositor) now.

You might want to open a new topic compiz on mate" . I don’t use compiz here but there are probably others who do.

Good luck.


Thanks so much again,

So on your advice I’ll open a new thread- but in my case I really don’t care whether its compiz or not, I just want… yknow… frickin thumbnails!

I just want thumbnails! It’s so frustrating to be without them… Every 10 seconds I’m like AAERG!!

Well hey look, MATE is supposed to be one of the most user-friendly distros, right. But without thumnails? And/or if I try to figure out to try to install thumbnails… it breaks?

Thanks Dave, new thread here I go, thanks,

(And yea I’ll install comiz-mate… well or just switch to standard ubuntu gnome) thanks,


Thumbnails -
You can not use previews (thumbnails) with other window manager than Compiz and Kwin.

  • and -
    You have to access the window thumbnails through dbus.

And even then there are several “hacks” to make it all work all of the time. You might want to see