I'm using Linux Mint 16 Petra with the MATE desktop environment.

Perhaps I shouldn't have done this, but when I was adding a new application to my list of startup applications, I saw what seemed like duplicate entries, and so I removed the duplicates.

After a reboot, the notification area in my panel is now displaying incorrectly, with some icons being duplicated, and others, like my sound and network icons, not displaying at all. Here is what it looks like:

broken notification area

I have tried uninstalling and reinstalling the Notification Area 1.6.1 applet, and manually adding applets like my sound applet, but without any impact.

How do I get my notification area back to normal?

  • Have the same double applet problem. Aug 10, 2014 at 20:11

2 Answers 2


This issue sounds suspiciously familiar to this one from Ubuntu. This bug is old, and has to do with gnome-panel. The bug in Launchpad is titled:Visual corruption affecting several panel applets.


After graphical logon notification area gets scrambled. Icons are in terrible mess. Some of them are overlapping others. Sometimes network manager icon is missing. Sometimes phantom icons show up. They can be clones of any other icons in the notification area. Bug affects any graphics card: ATI, nVidia, Intel...

There are 4 workarounds with this bug, which to my knowledge hasn't been resolved.

Workaround #1

Run killall gnome-panel from the terminal or Gnome's "Run" dialog. The panels will automatically respawn correctly.

Workaround #2

When you get your icons distorted right-click on the affected panel (not icons) click "Properties". In "Panel Properties" change panel orientation to "Left" or "Right" and back to "Top" or "Bottom". In my case all icons are displayed properly, but one (nm-applet) is missing.

Workaround #3

Right click the Gnome panel and remove the offending applets and re-add them, i.e. Indicator Applet, etc.

Workaround #4

Right click the Gnome panel, click on Properties, Check Add Hide Buttons. and Close. Enough for now. If the error "runs" to lower panel, repeat the steps.

Given you're using Mint + MATE I would suspect that this bug is still potentially in play given the code base for MATE derives from GNOME 2, which is where this bug persisted.

  • Thank you for responding. I've tried these workarounds, and they haven't quite entirely solved the problem, but I think they have shed light on the problem. It would seem that two notification icons, sound and network, are broken, and not displaying correctly. I am trying to reinstall/repair them, but so far no success.
    – Questioner
    Dec 15, 2013 at 6:01
  • Turns out clearing out my pulse audio configurations has solved the problem. I deleted ~/.pulse and rebooted, and my notifications are at least no longer screwed up, but some are still missing.
    – Questioner
    Dec 15, 2013 at 13:08

Look for a duplicated nm-applet.desktop in /etc/xdg

sudo su - 
cd /etc/xdg
rm nm-applet.desktop

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