Ubuntu 11.04 introduced a new, cleaner user interface called Unity. I’m not a huge desktop GUI guy, doing a large majority of my work in the command line, but I do like to try and stay current on the latest greatest interfaces.
I’m not overwhelmed with Unity. It’s OK but not really earth shattering. You have the option to switch back to the “classic” Gnome interface if you wanted to but I haven’t done that.
One huge annoyance I’ve noticed about the new Unity interface was a lack of a true “system tray”. Many application in Ubuntu (or Linux in general) leverage a similar approach Windows machine do and allow applications to run in a System Tray, cleaning up any task bars you might have. In Unity, there were a couple applications that were visible, like Dropbox, the clock and Volume but several others were not such as Skype and Truecrypt.
This became a big problem for Truecrypt because once I closed the Truecrypt interface I couldn’t figure out how to get back to it. If I tried to launch the application again the system would report that it the application was already running, which it was. In the past I would get back to the interface through the icon in the system tray but this icon would not display in Unity, at least not until I found a posting on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/topic.php?uid=6723083591&topic=17003
This simple command in a terminal window corrected my problem and life is good again
[bash]gsettings set com.canonical.Unity.Panel systray-whitelist "[‘all’]"[/bash]
As you can see I got all my system tray icons back and I am now a little happier with Unity.