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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?

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I just want to say I agree... and no I do not know the thought process behind this... –  TheX 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 askubuntu.com/questions/42140/… –  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

2 Answers 2

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.

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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 :-)

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