For some reason, a few years ago elementary OS(external link) decided to remove support for app indicators (or system tray icons, whatever you want to call them…) from their distro. Their opinion is that they are not necessary, bad design, and that app developers should find a better way of delivering that functionality. Unfortunately, app developers don’t really give a stuff what eOS developers think when Windows, MacOS and most other Linux distros all support these indicators, meaning that one of the first jobs of every eOS installer (or upgrader) is working out how to put them back. This is certainly the case for me, since I rely on pCloud(external link) to sync and store many of my files (and have done ever since Dropbox announced they were dropping support for most Linux configurations, years ago).

I feel like bringing them back on Odin (eOS 6.0) has been harder than doing it on Juno (5.0) was. This Reddit thread(external link) served as the starting point I needed, but as there were a few contradictory things in there, I thought I would write up what actually worked for me:

  1. I installed this patched indicator-application package(external link) with sudo dpkg -i <PACKAGE NAME>.deb
    • This in turn required me to deal with its dependencies, which dpkg itself can’t handle. The solution that worked for me was to run sudo dpkg -i <PACKAGE NAME>.deb once, notice the error/warning messages about unhandled dependencies, run sudo apt-get -f install to “fix” the situation, then run sudo dpkg -i <PACKAGE NAME>.deb again. But apparently apt install is supposed to be able to handle .debs too
  2. Then I installed namarupa from this GitHub repo(external link), not following the instructions in its README, only downloading the appropriate .deb for Odin and using sudo dpkg -i <PACKAGE NAME>.deb to install it
    • Of course, not realising that I only needed to install namarupa, I did follow the instructions about creating a file in ~/.config/autostart for indicator-application.desktop. I don’t think I needed to, though, because the whole reason I installed the patched indicator-application is that it should already have done the job

Finally, I have a large ellipsis icon in my “system tray” and the pCloud icon I really kind of need can be found when I click on it. Clicking “Settings…” doesn’t seem to do anything, but I guess I don’t really need to change any settings. If/when I install certain other apps like Steam, this should also give me access to the app indicators for those.

As a closing remark: Yes, it’s annoying that it doesn’t just work out of the box!