[nSLUG] Ubuntu unpredictable 'Top Panel' changes

Gerard MacNeil macneil.g at gmail.com
Tue Apr 30 16:48:17 ADT 2013

I guess I'm playing Tech Support this week,

The "Top Panel" etc., explanation tells me you run a Gnome2 interface.
Gnome2 is obsolete.

The "New Mail" icon shows up when you have New Mail, which I suspect is
not the mail you anticipate. Ubuntu, IIRC, would send system mail to
whichever user that was created on install. Debian sends the same mail
to the root user. If I am correct, you would find the mail
in /var/mail/<usename> or /var/spool/mail/<username>.

So, what I think is happening with the Mail icon is that when you first
login, there is new mail from the system. Gnome2 shows you the icon.
After you have been logged in for some length of time (5 minutes, 10
minutes??), the mail is no longer "new" (just unread) and the icon

The Shutdown Icon is another, worse and more complicated story than is
not worth telling. The real problem is that distribution of Ubuntu you
are using.  

The solution is Linux Mint:http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php
The "MATE" Edition is Gnome2 that works and is supported.
The "Cinnamon" Edition is Gnome3 that works, 
The "KDE" edition is the first KDE distribution that I could even use.
The "Xfce" Edition I did not try but would be my first choice on an
older computer.


On Mon, 29 Apr 2013 09:28:12 -0300
Frank Geitzler <frank.geitzler at ns.sympatico.ca> wrote:

> When I boot Ubuntu, the GRUB menu heading reads "GNU GRUB version
> 1.98-1ubuntu13", and the default menu selection is "Ubuntu, with Linux
>".  When I boot this version, the "Top Panel", the
> bar at the top of the screen, usually contains a number of headings
> and 'applets'.  From left to right are 'Applications', 'Places',
> 'System', an icon representing the Python IDE, an icon for Firefix,
> the Help icon, a Speaker icon, and the Mail icon.  When I booted the
> system a short time ago this morning, the 'Mail' icon was absent.  I
> have had this happen in the past with the 'Shutdown' icon, which
> normally appears at the top right of the screen, and the solution has
> usually been to just shutdown using a terminal screen, or to just
> power off; when I re-booted, the missing icon usually re-appears.  I
> did just click the shutdown icon this morning and selected 'Restart',
> and sure enough, the 'Mail' icon re-appeared.
> My point is, can anyone explain this nuisance behavior, and suggest a
> way to prevent it?  I last applied an update to the system two weeks
> ago, so that should not be the cause.
> Thanks,
> Frank Geitzler
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