Ubuntu – How to remove the default indicators and add custom ones


I am trying to use the old Ubuntu feature of adding/removing indicators from the top panel in 11.10/12.04, but cannot do so. I have these questions:

  • How can I remove or add indicator applet at top panel?
  • How can I erase or add a panel ?
  • How can I erase switch user account from top panel since I am the only user in my computer ?
  • How can I erase Startup applications and printers from top panel ?
  • How can I erase the Messages indicator from the top panel?

Best Answer

You can no longer add/remove indicators or panels by right-clicking like you used to with older Ubuntu versions before 11.10.

Warning: The default indicators (messages, networking, power, sound, user accounts, etc.) are tightly integrated with Unity since Ubuntu 11.10, and trying to remove them may cause problems.

  • You can remove these default indicators without affecting the rest of the system:

    1. Messages: Remove package indicator-messages
    2. Sound: Remove package indicator-sound
    3. Power: Remove package indicator-power
    4. Print Jobs: Remove package indicator-printers
    5. Date/Time: Simply enable/disable from System Settings...Time & Date: enter image description here
  • Removing these default indicators is NOT recommended or not possible without serious adverse effects:

    1. Networking: Provided by package network-manager-gnome. DO NOT remove unless you have a desktop with one wired ethernet connection and do not use VPNs.
    2. User Accounts and System: Both provided by the package indicator-session. Removing this package will remove the Shutdown, Logout, etc. options as well!
      • Editing the list shown in the System Menu (Startup Applications, Printers, etc.) is NOT possible without modifying the source.

Adding other indicators

Please see this question for a master-list of all the different indicators -- each answer/comments will tell you if it is available from PPAs or the Software Center:

What Application Indicators are available?