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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Ubuntu applets

On OMG Ubuntu I found this very nice guide for Gnome panmel applets:

read it here

Here is a copy:

The default desktop of Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal will no longer support  the traditional GNOME panel applets many of us have become accustomed to.
Supplanting them fully will be ‘Application Panel Indicators’. These new breed of notification area entries are designed to be consistent and unified in look and function, thus leading to a desktop more in tune with itself and with its users.
Just as with GNOME Applets you’re free to pick and choose which of these you use, install or run, so here’s a quick run down of the most popular ‘App indicators’ and ‘Indicator Applets’ presently available along with all the links/info you need to install them.
Note that for simplicities sake we’ve opted to not mention indicators that ship with Ubuntu by default – Tomboy, Transmission, etc.

Ubuntu One Indicator

By design Ubuntu One doesn’t come with a status area icon, something many users sorely miss.
Roman Yepishev did a bit more than moan about missing it, fashioning this gorgeous ‘Ubuntu One indicator-applet’. It lets you view and monitor your Ubuntu One accounts’ sync status with nothing more than a single click on on the panel icon.

More information on features, along with PPA installation instructions can be found by clicking this link.


Accidentally hitting the laptop track-pad is a pet peeve with a lot of users, but this tiny-indicator helps put paid to that.
Install via the official PPA:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lorenzo-carbonell/atareao
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install touchpad-indicator


My-weather-indicator is a panel-based weather forecast apple able to relay a surprisingly wide range of meteorological information.
It’s early days for the indicator but it gets a thumbs up from me for one reason: it’s simple. No endless menus or check-boxes to get up and running; just slap in your location and you’ll know the weather.
Install via the official PPA:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lorenzo-carbonell/atareao
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install my-weather-indicator


Monitoring CPU usage is a top priority for many users on portable devices. By limiting the clock speed of your laptop/netbook you can, in theory, extend your battery life a little lone. CPU-Freq offers all the functions of the standard GNOME Cpu-Freq applet but in indicator clothing.

The applet can be installed by running the following commands in a Terminal: -
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:anton-sudak/indicators
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install indicator-cpufreq


Switching workspaces via an indicator is an idea that, on paper, seems over-kill, particularly in light of other, faster methods.
And then I tried it.

Now installed by default in several Ubuntu-based distributions, this mini switcher is a lot more useful than many give it credit for.
Find install instructions here.

Indicator Keylock

Be alerted to when the caps lock, scroll lock or number lock keys are ‘on’ or ‘off’. ‘Piffle?’ you say? Although my keyboard does have a ‘caps lock’ light – I never remember to look at it so, for fellow unobservant folks out there, this is worth its salt.
Indicator Keylock applet
Installation instructions, along with a bit more rationale, can be found here.

Clipboard managers

Are you one of those people who copy and paste a lot? If so you may already use a clipboard manager to, well, manage your clipboard. With anticipation of Natty’s depreciation of familiar GNOME applets be sure to cast a mental CTRL+C over the following indicators replacements.


‘Pastie’ looks and does what you’d expect it to. With a mono-icon and ‘Clean history’ button it sits as one of the best of its ilk available to Ubuntu users.

Installation instructions and a bit more information is in this post.


A similarly purposed indicator is Diodon. Lacking a mono-panel icon, it does look out of place when using Ubuntu’s default theme. That said it’s a light and capable tool worthy of consideration.

Stable build PPA for Maverick users can be found here.

Clip It

An Indicator-based fork of clipboard manager ‘ParcelLite’, ClipIt boasts very little to differentiate itself from rivals. The lack of a ‘clean’ option within the menu list makes it the perfunctory third choice in this list.
Download can be found @

USB Removal

Safely remove USB thumb drives, mounted SD Cards and more with ‘USB Safe Removal application indicator’ (Or Indicator-unmount’ for short ;) ). The tiny app doesn’t sing, it certainly doesn’t dance but it does do what it says on the tin: eject mounted drives.

Download and further information can be found here..


TinyGrab inspired screenshot tool ‘Lookit’ is a mini-marvel for us bloggers, many of whom are seemingly insatiable for ‘yet more’ screenshots to prop up our dubiously written texts.
As an app Lookit is neat, configurable, allows for quick capturing and uploading of screenshots and runs directly from the notification area. No extra windows, no more hassle.

The beta release of ‘LookIt’ can be downloaded in .deb from from the project page or installed from the testing PPA below in a few hours time.
  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lookit/testing
  • sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install lookit
The latest stable version can be installed using the Lookit stable PPA: -
  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lookit/ppa
  • sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install lookit


We’ve covered this quick-launch applet for Virtualbox machine in depth recently. Suffice to say it’s nothing more than a glorified quick launch menu for your VirtualBox machines.
Indicator virtualbox for Ubuntu

Indicator-Wallpaper changer

This applet works in tandem with the tray based wallpaper changer DesktopNova. It’s easy to use and easy to install, making it a perfect app for impatient wallpaper lovers.
Full instructions are here, along with how to install.


Caffeine helps prevent Ubuntu from ‘sleeping’. Controlled directly via the notification area, Caffeine is easily one of the best uses of an Indicator presently available.
Lucid and Maverick users can add the ‘ppa:caffeine-developers/ppa’ to their software sources to install.

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