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I updated to the newest, 3.26.1, version of GNOME several hours ago, and I don't see the list of background applications that used to be located in the bottom-left corner of the screen, on a hidden sliding panel. The icons belonging to Audacious, VLC, Dropbox, Redshift and other applications I run in the background don't see anywhere in the screen.

I opened the Tweaks app (or equivalently the gnome-tweak-tool command) looking for relevant configurations with no results. What happened to this feature, and is there a way to have one similar to it if it is gone?

Source Status Icons and GNOME, Form and Function Allan Day's blog enter image description here

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The legacy tray was removed in 3.26 (it was a stop-gap measure, destined to be removed at some point, as explained in the corresponding bug). This is also mentioned in the release notes.

To see your indicator icons, you can use an extension such as TopIcons Plus.

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There are multiple ways how to bring tray icons back.

AppIndicator Support

enter image description here

The way I use and I would recommend to you is the appindicator-support Gnome extension. There are multiple implementations:

  • KStatusNotifierItem/AppIndicator Support - The default one and the best way for beginners. It may be already preinstalled on some Linux distributions.

  • appindicatorsupport@rgcjonas.gmail.com.zip - (Outdated for Gnome 40) Patched version of the previous one. It is not distributed in the extensions store so you have to download, extract and place it manually into ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/. But it offers a lot of configuration options.

Each of these solutions also offers great integration into gnome-shell as it uses default dropdowns.

TopIcons

enter image description here

Another approach to bring tray icons back is TopIcons family of extensions. It all started with (no longer functional today) TopIcons extension.

  • TopIconsFix - Fixed version of TopIcons. It doesn't provide configuration and icons are too large to look nice. I don't very recommend this one.

  • TopIcons Plus - (The one on screenshot) This is a good extension. Provides configuration and icons look nice.

  • TopIcons Redux - Rewritten fork of TopIcons Plus. It may not work in the newest version of Gnome-shell.

Note: Keep in mind you may not be able to get all your tray icons working with TopIcons extensions.

Additions

Some programs with non-working tray icons can be fixed by changing the environmental variable XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP before launching them. Try to change this variable to Unity or KDE. Test your program with the following commands:

  • XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP=Unity program
  • XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP=KDE program

If one of the commands work, you can edit .desktop file of your program in ~/.local/share/applications/ or /usr/share/applications/ to include this environmental variable in Exec= parameter.

Exec=env XDG_CURRENT_DESKTOP=KDE program


Some users may be looking into a way to customize their tray icons to look united and to match the system icon theme (as on my screenshots above). In that case, take a look at Hardcode-Tray project.

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You may use a GNOME shell extension called "KStatusNotifierItem/AppIndicator Support". It has features like

  • Show indicator icons in the panel.
  • Reveal indicator menus upon click.
  • Double clicking an icon will activate the application window (if implemented by the indicator).
  • Middle mouse click an icon to send a 'SecondaryActivate' event to the application. Support needs to be implemented in the application.

(from GitHub page)

But it fails to show some application icons, for example icons for electron based apps such as Skype.

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