If you use Ubuntu’s Unity desktop, then you must have noticed the small mail-icon that’s displayed on the top menu-bar (to the right side). It’s real name is “indicator-messages” and is sort of a simple “command center” that lets you control some of the functions of Gwibber (microblogging client), Empathy (the default chat client) and few other internet-messaging related applications that come with Ubuntu.
For instance, you can set-up your e-mail account via Thunderbird and when you have new mails, it’ll display small and somewhat less distracting notifications. Or, you can change your online “status” (available, invisible, away etc) of some of the chat clients using this indicator-menu. So yes, it is a handy feature.
However, like me, if you too don’t use these programs, then by removing the “indicator-messages” package, can benefit you in two ways.
First of all, it kinda help to simplify/unclutter the top menu bar. And secondly (most importantly), even if you don’t use it, still, “indicator-messages” runs as an OS service (from the background) consuming your PC’s resources (memory and occasional CPU wake-ups). And in my Ubuntu 12.04 PC, it used about 1.7MB of RAM.
If you don’t use it, then perhaps you’re better off without it ;-).
To get rid of it, enter the below command in your Terminal window (should work in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal, 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot, 12.04 Precise Pangolin).
sudo apt-get autoremove indicator-messages
For the changes to take effect, logout and re-login. But I think it’s better to restart the PC, so the background process will be fully removed from the system.
Ho to get it back?
Well, once you’ve removed it, you can never have it back, unless you re-install Ubuntu! (kidding :D).
If you want it back, then simply enter the below command to re-install it.
sudo apt-get install indicator-messages
Make sure to logout and then re-login for the changes to take effect. That’s it!.