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I want to integrate my app into the Unity/Ubuntu top panel by being able to output some small printed messages or icons or indicators to the panel. Some of my programs that I have installed do this, for example, Redshift has a button, and the gnome-system-indicator (system load indicator) outputs a CPU usage graph.

Redshift example

How can I access this programmatically, so that I can have my own program print data to the panel in the same way as something like gnome-system-indicator?

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It is called unity indicator. There is page on Ubuntu website: appindicator. Have a look on it. I think it gives you enough information.

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