I notice that some changes have been made in message notifications from Empathy in 11.10.

I open chat in Empathy with another user but when a message is received there are no notifications in the messages menu (only a pop-up window).

In 11.04 the "mail icon" in the message menu became blue and I could switch to chat with new messages using that menu. It was quite useful.

Is there any way to return to the old notification behavior in the messages menu in 11.10?

  • Hm, there are no such problems in pidgin.
    – shmy333
    Oct 10, 2011 at 11:53

2 Answers 2


I believe this is related to this bug.

I enabled empathy notifications by whitelisting the Empathy application. This is not exactly restoring 11.04 behavior but it is a workaround until the bug is fixed.

Here is how to accomplish this:

~ $ gsettings get com.canonical.Unity.Panel systray-whitelist
['JavaEmbeddedFrame', 'Mumble', 'Wine', 'hp-systray', 'Dropbox', 'scp-dbus-service', 'Skype']
~ $ gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Panel systray-whitelist "['JavaEmbeddedFrame', 'Mumble', 'Wine', 'hp-systray', 'Dropbox', 'scp-dbus-service', 'Skype', 'empathy']"

Your initial list may look different than mine. Take note of the double quotes around the output list when passed as input as well as the new entry for empathy.

You will need to log out and login again for the changes to take effect.

Note: This is not ideal. On my box, when the old notification area blinks, it looks like it's missing the correct icon, but at least I know I have messages waiting. I am going to leave mine like this until they get Empathy working with the new notification area.

  • That's a good news! I'll try it.
    – shmy333
    Oct 20, 2011 at 5:14
  • My notifications seem to be working correctly now even though that bug isn't marked as fixed. Anyway, I'm turning off the old notifications now.
    – Matt Hulse
    Nov 11, 2011 at 22:14

It was becoming blue for sometime after new install, but stopped for no seemingly reason.

I guess that's because ubuntu 11.10 has broken everything good that was there in Ubuntu to push this half-backed Unity POS upon users. :(

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