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FS#51740 - [network-manager-applet] Enable appindicator

Attached to Project: Arch Linux
Opened by Sébastien Luttringer (seblu) - Tuesday, 08 November 2016, 02:05 GMT
Last edited by Jan de Groot (JGC) - Saturday, 21 October 2017, 22:05 GMT
Task Type Feature Request
Category Packages: Extra
Status Closed
Assigned To Jan de Groot (JGC)
Jan Alexander Steffens (heftig)
Architecture All
Severity Medium
Priority Normal
Reported Version
Due in Version Undecided
Due Date Undecided
Percent Complete 100%
Votes 5
Private No


Desktop shells are dropping xembed in favor of appindicator. That will be even more true on wayland.

network-manager-applet support appindicator when built with --with-appindicator and then started with --indicator.

I successfully using it since few hours. Here is the PKGBUILD patch:

Could we enabled this in our build?
This task depends upon

Closed by  Jan de Groot (JGC)
Saturday, 21 October 2017, 22:05 GMT
Reason for closing:  Won't implement
Comment by Sébastien Luttringer (seblu) - Tuesday, 08 November 2016, 02:06 GMT
Please note the following message during the build: configure: WARNING: unrecognized options: --disable-migration, --with-modem-manager-1, --enable-gtk-doc
Comment by Sébastien Luttringer (seblu) - Sunday, 29 January 2017, 23:59 GMT
I see you explicitly disabled appindicator in 1.4.4-2. Could you explain why?
Comment by Jan Alexander Steffens (heftig) - Monday, 30 January 2017, 00:09 GMT
To my knowledge appindicator is only used in Unity.
Comment by Doug Newgard (Scimmia) - Monday, 30 January 2017, 00:29 GMT
It's not. It's a very common standard used on GNOME, KDE, and Enlightenment as well. See
Comment by Sébastien Luttringer (seblu) - Monday, 30 January 2017, 00:44 GMT
Enlightenment dropped xembed so currently that's the correct way to see the nm tray icon.

KDE has announced long time ago the drop of xembed. You can read detail here.

From what I read until now, it's the new trayicon protocol for gnome,kde,enlightenment,unity.
Comment by Jan Alexander Steffens (heftig) - Monday, 30 January 2017, 01:44 GMT
This is certainly not supported by GNOME.
Comment by Doug Newgard (Scimmia) - Monday, 30 January 2017, 01:56 GMT
I apologize, it's a 3rd party extension for GNOME. Point stands for Enlightenment and KDE/Plasma, though. Enlightenment dropped xembed support completely and Plasma added a proxy daemon to convert xembed setups to SNI at runtime after initially dropping it completely.
Comment by Balló György (City-busz) - Monday, 30 January 2017, 02:09 GMT
libappindicator is an ugly Ubuntu stuff. They don't even make upstream releases, because they package bzr snapshots for their distribution instead. We should avoid using this library.

The whole systray icon concept is dead. GtkStatusIcon is deprecated, and will be not available in GTK+ 4. If you want to use a legacy app like network-manager-applet, and you are using a shell that doesn't support xembed (currently only Enlightenment), I recommend to use stalonetray.
Comment by Doug Newgard (Scimmia) - Monday, 30 January 2017, 02:20 GMT
libappindicator may be Ubuntu stuff, but StatusNotifierItems are KDE/ stuff. libappindicator is a SNI implementation. I can (somewhat) understand trying to avoid that lib, but this is the direction many things are moving.

No idea how you can say the systray icon concept is dead.
Comment by Michael G. (Commod0re) - Monday, 13 February 2017, 20:40 GMT
stalonetray has never really worked for me, so that suggestion is not helpful.

As noted, appindicator is just an implementation of SNI, which is a FreeDesktop standard (, and the current "best practice" way to implement systray icons.

Choosing to not bother with this because "the whole systray icon concept is dead" (setting aside the questionable-at-best validity of such a statement) is an insane decision. libappindicator already exists in the Arch repository, and nm-applet is actively maintained (see, so I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that it is "legacy". At any rate, disabling features like this takes functionality away from users without good cause (and I can't find any record of anyone asking for that, anyway).

Just put the compile flag back, please. It doesn't hurt anyone who doesn't use it, but taking it away does negatively affect those of us who do.
Comment by Jan de Groot (JGC) - Saturday, 21 October 2017, 22:05 GMT
The most common distributions except Ubuntu don't enable this. The default says disabled also, so upstream doesn't do any testing on this.

GNOME 3.26 already killed the notification area, KDE has its own network settings, so I see no need to implement this.