After Suttleworth's bizarre decision to hard-code the whitelist for the systray, a developer created a patch to allow people to continue to use applications that use the systray with Ubuntu.

Unfortunately, the patch's creator is now too busy to maintain it. This means that since the latest updates earlier this month, the whitelist no longer works (again).

Canonical's "solution" was to instruct us to raise a bug report for each application that doesn't work, but of course those bug reports have been ignored.


How can I re-enable the systray? Its absence is creating difficulties for me.

I am using Ubuntu 14.04 64-bit.

Answering the question by @GGleb


gsettings list-recursively net.launchpad.indicator.systemtray


net.launchpad.indicator.systemtray disable-indicator false
net.launchpad.indicator.systemtray started-the-first-time false
net.launchpad.indicator.systemtray static-x 0
net.launchpad.indicator.systemtray static-y 0
net.launchpad.indicator.systemtray tray-is-static false

I notice that tray-is-static toggles when I middle-click the icon.

3 Answers 3


Try using the Indicator Systemtray Unity (for Ubuntu 14.04 - 15.04):

enter image description here

Indicator, when clicked, shows the tray.

enter image description here

Also there is a display mode "separately from the indicator" - on top of the panel like a dock. In this mode, the position can be changed by scrolling the mouse over the indicator. To change the mode position: press the middle mouse button on the indicator.

Installation in the terminal:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:fixnix/indicator-systemtray-unity
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install indicator-systemtray-unity

You must then log out and again log in using your user.


To remove this package (with its configuration files!!!):

sudo apt-get --purge remove indicator-systemtray-unity
  • 2
    Thank you. This is significantly better than nothing, although I wish that we could still use the systray panel. Shuttleworth has no idea of the problems that he has caused. Apr 24, 2015 at 17:02
  • For some reason (I think that you edited your answer), the first time around I missed the bit about the middle mouse button, which I've now tried. Unfortunately, it doesn't work for me. The middle mouse button merely toggles between two modes: The first mode is as you first described. The second mode prevents it from displaying anything when clicked, i.e. it is useless in that mode. Do you have any advice to make the middle button work as yours does? (Synaptic reports the version as 0.1-trusty1.) Apr 28, 2015 at 14:30
  • You can show the output of the command?: gsettings list-recursively net.launchpad.indicator.systemtray
    – GGleb
    Apr 28, 2015 at 19:59
  • I have edited my question to provide the answer. Apr 29, 2015 at 9:10
  • Fixed. You need to update the indicator. Reminder: in this mode, the position can be changed by scrolling the mouse over the indicator. This mode needs improvement.
    – GGleb
    Apr 29, 2015 at 22:02

In 16.04 (xenial) I managed to display a panel item for

wicd-gtk --tray

by installing

apt-get install python-appindicator

Configuration options are displayed when right-clicking on the icon.

  • Thanks for the note. I shall try it when I finally upgrade to 16.04. May 23, 2016 at 9:33
  • There is an icon, but it shows only network information. Your instruction is slightly incomplete.
    – Danatela
    May 23, 2016 at 10:58
  • @Danatela: Try and right-click on the icon. This produces a lot of configuration options.
    – dzmanto
    Jun 30, 2016 at 11:38

I suspect this would not be recommended (for the reasons given below) but here's my way around things (assuming that you're already using gurqn's systray-trusty ppa):

sudo apt-get -s purge unity unity-services libunity-core-6.0-9

sudo apt-get install unity=7.2.4+14.04.20141217-0ubuntu1-systray-ppa1 libunity-core-6.0-9=7.2.4+14.04.20141217-0ubuntu1-systray-ppa1 unity-services=7.2.4+14.04.20141217-0ubuntu1-systray-ppa1

sudo apt-mark hold unity unity-services libunity-core-6.0-9

The last command should ensure that these packages are not updated without your explicit consent in the future (you'll still have the option to mark the packages for install manually in the update-manager).

Be warned: doing this may break things in the future, and you may miss out on important security updates. Personally, though, to get a functional systemtray back, it's a risk I'm willing to take.

Note that if you've installed @GGleb's indicator app previously, you'll also need to remove that package, and then manually delete a file:

sudo rm -rf /etc/profile.d/UNITY_PANEL_TRAY_DISABLE.sh

(this file should be automatically removed when uninstalling that package, but for some reason is not ...)

  • Thanks, James, but this is a bad idea both for security and for the reason you already gave. @GGleb's solution works perfectly, allowing updates, so I'll stick with it. I recommend that you try it; apart from an extra icon, the "display mode" is nearly indistinguishable from gurqn's solution. There's no ideal solution, but then Shuttleworth did go a bit off the rails on this one. May 1, 2015 at 8:51

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