Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Informing about system updates seems like a perfect match for an indicator (it could appear or change color when there are new updates). Instead of that we have an annoying popup window, which demands immediate attention. I cannot imagine that nobody thought about that before, and it doesn't seem difficult to implement, so I assume there has to be a reason behind that?

share|improve this question
I just want to say I agree... and no I do not know the thought process behind this... – TheXed May 19 '11 at 23:23
Possible duplicate? You can turn off the default pop-up and have the app indicator show as per this answer… – fossfreedom May 20 '11 at 17:48
Thanks, but I'm still curious why this is not the default, and why it hasn't been ported to indicators (this is a tray icon). – Adam Byrtek May 20 '11 at 20:10

There is an indicator in 11.04. It shows gray for suggested updates and red for critical updates. It works in classic Gnome, and in Unity as well. I can't remember if it was in 10.10 or not.

Update Manager

The notification for updates is the sun-like icon in the middle. This is actually displayed because I have a package manager open, but the optional update icon is the same. It shows in red when there are critical updates. I don't see any settings under updates that control whether or not this is displayed, is I'm not sure why sure why you don't see it. I'm set for auto-download, manual install, but that shouldn't matter.

share|improve this answer
I use 11.04 and I still get the popup. Could you include a screenshot, please? – Adam Byrtek May 20 '11 at 7:22
Thanks, and upvoted. However, it looks like you had to configure it manually (see foofredom's link). – Adam Byrtek May 20 '11 at 20:11
I don't recall doing that ... it may be set that way as I've been upgrading rather than installing fresh for the last half dozen releases or so. – Nerdfest May 21 '11 at 13:15

I'm currently developing an application which does just what you asked for, mainly because the update management of ubuntu is not satisfactory for me:

Link to screenshot

You can download the sources at Launchpad (External downloads). It's in an early development stage and might still have bugs. But it works for me :-)

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.