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I'm hoping I'm not imagining things, but I'm fairly sure that I saw a clean 10.04 install with a key icon displayed in the menu bar. I believe it appeared when sudo was active for updating, etc. I don't seem to have this icon anymore, and I was wondering if it was something I removed inadvertently, or a problem because of the number of upgrades I've done.

If you know of this icon/functionality, please let me know.

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That icon only means that you are using root privileges in one application at that moment, granting you elevated privileges. – Lyrositor Oct 21 '10 at 1:53
More specifically, this is related to the use of PolicyKit for getting elevated privileges. – JanC Oct 21 '10 at 2:52
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The key icon is just to show you when you are using elevated or root privilege and gives you the option to drop those privileges. I don't see this icon all the time too and that is the way it is meant to be. As far as I can remember, I usually see this icon while installing something from the software centre or running something with root privileges.

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Thanks, I've never seen it when installing via Synaptic, but it did show up when using the Software Centre. – Nerdfest Oct 21 '10 at 10:02

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