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After starting GNOME desktop, a window titled 'pam-panel-icon' appears, initially displayed in the upper-left of the desktop sized as small as possible. It can be resized, minimized, or maximized, but if it is closed it immediately reappears.

There is an old bug report seemingly describing the same behavior with a status of 'CLOSED NOTABUG' filed here.

What is the purpose of this window? How do I make it go away?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

It displays the notification icon that indicates that you currently have superuser privileges in some situations. Add a notification area to a panel to contain the icon instead.

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Thank you for these concise answers to both questions, Ignacio. – Danny Whitt Feb 11 '13 at 13:52

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