System tray icons do not appear in Wingpanel for either nodewebkit applications that use the built in NW.js trayicon library, or Java applications that use java.awt.SystemTray.

In Java, SystemTray.isSupported(), returns false in elementary OS, presumably the same is true for the NW.js library.

Is this something that can be worked around? If not, are there any plans to support these libraries for system tray icons?

n.b. The only reference to this I could find after much searching was this question over on Stackoverflow which has no answers (could do with better tagging, perhaps).


1 Answer 1


I was looking for more information regarding tray icons and NW.js couple of weeks ago. The issue is that elementary and other distributions like Ubuntu are using App Indicators instead of a classic Gtk tray icons. App Indicators are not supported by NW.js at the moment. There is already a pull request fixing this, but it has not been merged yet as it removes the support for Gtk tray icons.

  • That's good news re NW.js. Finding any progress/info on java tray is proving very difficult though. I found this workaround for Unity: github.com/GGleb/indicator-systemtray-unity (I tried it in ElementaryOS and it did not work, as expected really). I'm wondering if there's something similar that could be done for Wingpanel or whether something like this has already been implemented. Happy to have a go at coding if pointed at the relevant docs or samples.
    – dom_watson
    Sep 1, 2015 at 20:52
  • Further searching has brought up this project for interacting with App Indicators through Java: sourceforge.net/projects/jappindicator. It hasn't been updated in a while but might offer up a solution for any Java developers wanting to have working App indicators in Ubuntu/ElementraryOS. I'll give it a try myself later.
    – dom_watson
    Sep 3, 2015 at 10:30

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