Some months ago, on the road to Ubuntu Maverick, a new system indicator, network (with connman as a backend), started to be developed. The plan was to get it into UNE and release it with no notifcation area. Unfortunately it didn't make it into the final version. However, continued efforts are still being made to improve it, and I'm getting regular updates.

From a blueprint from the last UDS, I read that the plan was to ship no notification area and only indicators. For that, it was defined that nm-applet (backend: NetworkManager) should be ported to the appindicator library.

Today I discovered that those efforts are going on and a initial version is available for testing, available from Matt Trudel PPA (Natty only).

So, my questions is, to whoever has the necessary info: wouldn't it be easier to join efforts and concentrate the work in just one version (probably NetworkManager backend, as that's the official plan), instead of breaking those efforts apart and hampering both testing and developing? Both indicators are being developed by Canonical engineers, and that really doesn't make much sense.

So, any Canonical engineer willing to clarify this?

  • Bump: Can someone explain WHY there is a change to conman - there's plenty of discussions as to how this can be done but not why.
    – Jon
    Jan 6, 2011 at 0:16

1 Answer 1


The conman indicator is the long term plan, the network manager indicator is the short term stop gap. there are concerns conman has some missing features which are important to some use cases and that's why development continues.

Although I just don't see why the desired features in conman weren't ported to nm.

  • 2
    Indeed, that's exactly how it is. The long term plan is to switch to Connman and indicator-network, but changes in unity and the desktop make it so that it's really important to get a version of nm-applet that still shows up on the desktop with unity, given that the new compiz-based Unity doesn't currently implement the system tray :) Nov 29, 2010 at 16:45
  • Thanks for explaining this, Martin and Mathieu. By the way, your network-manager version with app indicator support works too in Maverick, and solves this annoying bug I had with indicator-network + connman: bugs.edge.launchpad.net/indicator-network/+bug/586033 (I do however, get some nm crashes, especially when my network suddenly goes down, but I understand these are still the early days ;) Nov 29, 2010 at 20:22

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