@DebConf 2017: Ayatana Indicators

On last Tuesday, I gave a 20 min talk about Ayatana Indicators at DebConf 17 in Montreal.

Ayatana Indicators Talk

The talk had video coverage, so big thanks to the DebConf video team for making it possible to send the below video link around to people in the world:


The document of notes shown in the video is available on Debian's Infinote (Gobby) server:

$ sudo apt-get install gobby
$ sudo gobby infinote://gobby.debian.org/debconf17/talk/ayatana-indicators 

The major outcome of this talk was getting to know Dimitri John Ledkov from the Foundation Team at Canonical Ltd. We agreed on investigating the following actions, targetting the Ubuntu 18.04 LTS release and later on Debian 10 (aka buster):

Upstream Todos

  • We need to find out what indicator applets are still needed (already there: application, session, power; w-i-p: messages, not yet touch: sound, datetime, transfer). If you maintain a desktop environment and need indicator support, please contact us.
  • Rip-out liburl-dispatcher and Mir related code from all ayatana-indicator-* code projects (upstream)
  • Build-time disable phone and tablet related code (upstream). If you are from the UBPorts project and have concerns about this, please contact us.
  • Fully deprecate all Ubuntu Indicators upstream projects on Launchpad and point to Ayatana Indicators as upstream source for indicators in the Ubuntu ecosystem

Debian/Ubuntu Todos

  • Update https://wiki.debian.org/Ayatana, most important change for packagers: The team will use Git from now on, not Bazaar.
  • Get in touch with people maintaining indicator related packages (packages that have libappindicator-dev as build-dependency) to prepare for the transition from Ubuntu Indicators (unmaintained upstream, unmaintained in Debian) to Ayatana Indicators (package list, see DDPO Ayatana Developers Overview)
  • File bug reports against all packages still dependending on Ubuntu Indicators in Debian and ideally provide patches to make those packages build against Ayatana Indicators
  • Do the Ayatana Indicator transition in Debian

Please get in Touch...

As this is going to be quite an effort, esp. if we want to get this done until 18.04 LTS, let me say, that this blog post is a call for help. If you are attached to Ubuntu and have used desktops with indicator support until now, please get in touch with the Ayatana Indicators team upstream as well as downstream (Debian/Ubuntu).


  • Ayatana Indicators upstream:
    • #arctica on Freenode IRC
  • Ayatana Indicators in Debian:
  • Ubuntu Desktop Developers:
    • #ubuntu-desktop on Freenode IRC

Looking forward to meeting you online or on person and possibly working together with you on this transition project.