After a default Ubuntu 12.04 install on a new system, there always seems to be some 'Envelope' icon on the menu bar at the top. If I click it, a menu appears with Available, Away, Busy, Offline etc.

Small screenshot:

enter image description here

What is it, and do I need it? Or can I get rid of it, and how? I rather not have anything make unnecessary connections or poll my online status or whatever.

  • Don't remember in which Ubuntu version it started, but most of the Ubuntu webapps show their notification in that icon. (like Gmail, Facebook, etc.) And if you use Thunderbird, new messages would show there as well.
    – Dan
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 15:48

3 Answers 3


That icon is called the Messaging Menu.

Messaging applications like your IM, mail, and chat can integrate with this menu so that it is obvious to you when someone is trying to get a hold of you. You can remove it by following these instructions:


The messaging menu in Ubuntu provides quick access to global messaging status and individual messaging applications.

It helps you messaging or chatting a network user , or set up global account like Facebook and you can receive and send message from Facebook via it .

If you don't need it you can remove it :

sudo apt-get remove indicator-messages

You can safely ignore it. As you discovered it can indicates incoming messages or mails from a wide variety of softwares (Mail, irc, ...).

  • can you tell how to kill this icon ?
    – Waqas
    Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 15:36
  • If you really need to kill it, then sudo apt-get remove indicator-messages will do the job. Commented Mar 10, 2014 at 15:43

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .