I would like to have an application appear in the messaging menu that is not installed there by default, is there a way to do that on a per-user basis?

2 Answers 2


Applications that are in the messaging menu each have a file in the system directory of:


That directory contains files that have the paths to the desktop files for those applications. You can also have one of these in your home directory with this path:


So let's say that I want to add Thunderbird to my messaging menu. I'd do something like this:

$ mkdir -p ~/.config/indicators/messages/applications/
$ echo /usr/share/applications/thunderbird.desktop > ~/.config/indicators/messages/applications/thunderbird

You'll need to restart your session (log out and back in) the first time you create the applications directory.

Here's an example of usage from a python application.

  • 3
    Simply restarting the panel killall gnome-panel will work, you don't need to log out.
    – Isaiah
    Dec 1, 2010 at 2:43
  • Are there any python examples to add functionality to any application added to the Messaging Menu? Feb 8, 2011 at 19:40
  • Yes, there are. Here's a link to them in the libindicate source tree. You can download it with "bzr branch lp:libindicate" or browse it here: bazaar.launchpad.net/~indicator-applet-developers/libindicate/…
    – Ted Gould
    Feb 9, 2011 at 2:48

Documentation and example code for doing this can be found here on the Developer Portal.

Editor's note: page no longer exists, so I have replaced the dead link with an archive snapshot from June 2013. Other links on the linked page may be broken and information out of date

  • This page no longer exists. Apr 13, 2015 at 21:47

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