Xfce4-panel: some icons missing (sometimes)

Hi all, :wave:

I´m sure there are some of you folks out there who make use of the xfce desktop environment.
So perhaps someone of you has encountered the same phenomenon I´m about to mention.

I´m using Linux Lite 6.2 which makes use of (a modified version of) the xfce DE. By default it comes with the xfce-panel. The version of the panel LL uses is 4.16.3-1.

Every now and then I notice that some icons are missing from the panel. Those icons should be visible at all times when a certain programme/process is started. :thinking:

Here´s an example:

I start nixnote2 and the respective nixnote-icon is shown in the panel. That´s alright so far. But suddenly - seemingly out of nowhere - the icon vanishes although the nixnote process is still running. :slightly_frowning_face:

The same can theoretically happen to any other icon, like the Linux Lite Terminal-icon.


when I restart the panel process with xfce4-panel -r all icons are there again. Well, although this seems not to be anything major it still annoys me to a certain extent.

Curiously enough there are days when all works well, without any hiccups but today I needed to restart the panel already twice… :slightly_frowning_face:

Has anyone of you encoutered anything similiar to that :question: And if so, could you fix the issue :question:

Many thanks for your help in advance and many greetings

Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:


BTW: there are no log entries indicating that something would not be right. I looked for that with lnav.

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Hi @Rosika,

I have no idea if this will help, but I found this posting.

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Hi Howard, :wave:

thanks a lot for your (very quick) reply and for providing the link. :heart:

I quickly glanced over it and saw the recommendation

xfce4-panel --restart

was also given. This is what I did as well. After that the panel works alright.
Still: things like that shouldn´t happen very often, I think.

O.K., I have to read the page again thoroughly. I see that some further links are provided there.

Thanks again, Howard.

Many greetings from Rosika. :slightly_smiling_face:


In the meantime I also posted the problem on the Linux Lite forum. I´ll have to wait and see if I get any reaction from there.

Hi Rosika,
These people seem to have arrived at a solution


Hi Neville, :wave:

thanks so much for your suggestion and the link.

Reading the archlinux page I got the impression that the problem discussed there was a bit different:

And I noticed a lot of the icons in the applications menu are missing

It seems the user has problems getting the icons started at all.
Of course it´s possible I may have misinterpreted the statements. :neutral_face:

With me it´s rather this: icons are displayed in the panel but suddenly they vanish (but not always). :thinking:

XFCE comes with the default Adwaita and HighContrast icons

Yes, that´s also the case with me. I think that shouldn´t be the cause of the problem…

I also consulted ChatGPT to see what it has to say.
One of its suggestions was:

Reset the xfce-panel settings:
Sometimes, the panel settings may get corrupted, which could result in missing icons. You can try resetting the xfce-panel settings to their default values. To do this, you can run the following command in the terminal:

xfce4-panel --quit && rm -rf ~/.config/xfce4/panel && xfce4-panel

This will quit the xfce-panel, remove the panel’s configuration files, and restart the panel with default settings.
Note that this will reset your panel settings, so you may need to reconfigure your panel layout and settings after running this command.

I´m not sure whether this would help at all as I don´t see any reason why the panel settings would´ve gotten corrupted in the first place… :thinking:

At any rate: thanks a lot for your help, Neville. :heart:

Many greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:


Yes the panel is not the applications menu. Sorry my misread.

Whenever I use Xfce I upgrade to xfce 4.18.1 here is how. Pop this repo from Xubuntu in update to populate the repo then . Reboot then right click your panel go to about and you should be using 4.18 you should not have any more problems. Also as a rule of thumb I always install panel profiles sudo apt install xfce4-panel-profiles. You can then backup your panels. Here is the repo for upgrading to xfce 418.1
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/staging
sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

Hi Neville, :wave:

no problem. Thanks for the feedback.

Many greetings.
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

@clatterfordslim, :wave:

Hi Mark,

thanks so much for the suggestion.

That´s a great how-to you provided. :+1:

O.K., I just looked it up with apt-cache show :

env LANG=en_US.UTF-8 apt-cache show xfce4-panel-profiles
Package: xfce4-panel-profiles
Architecture: all
Version: 1.0.13-0ubuntu2
Priority: optional
Section: universe/xfce
Origin: Ubuntu
Enhances: xfce4-panel
Homepage: https://git.xfce.org/apps/xfce4-panel-profiles/about/
Description-en: layout manager for the Xfce panel
 Xfce Panel Profiles (xfce4-panel-profiles) is a simple application to
 manage Xfce panel layouts. This tool makes it possible to backup,
 restore, import, and export these panel layouts.
Task: xubuntu-desktop

That looks good indeed.
Just an additional question:

Why do I need to backup, restore, import, export panel layouts?
I mean: once the panel layout is successfully set up everything is taken care of, right?

Thanks so much for your help, Mark. :heart:

@ all:

I also received an answer from stevef, who is a moderator in the Linux Lite forums.

So what @clatterfordslim suggests is definitively the way to go. :+1:

Still I want to give to you the response I got from the LL forum (for the sake of completeness):

I’ve experienced this on occasionally.

I think it is this xfce bug which should be fixed in in xfce4-panel 4.16.4 and 4.17.0

some Windows do not appear in the panel (#188) · Issues · Xfce / xfce4-panel · GitLab

Another workaround suggested is to just hover the mouse pointer over the launcher area.
I never remembered to try that - normally just use Alt Tab to find the missing application and the panel eventually self fixes.

(from: xfce4-panel: some icons missing (sometimes) )

Thanks a lot to all of you and many greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

In case you need to reinstall or go to another Xfce desktop, you can use the backup which is stored inside your .local/share/xfce4-panel-profiles to restore the panel look you had before.

I also do this in Linux Mint 21.1 which is based on 22.04.

You’re very welcome Rosika.

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All my Linuxes except Debian have xfce 4.18, and I have never noticed a missing panel item.
That said I cant really see the point of a panel item just to say that there is a window on the screen. I know there is a window on the screen… I can see it.
Perhaps one of you hi-tech graphics users can enlighten me as to what I have been missing out on?

Hi again, :wave:


I see. Well, that´s certainly a wise thing to do. Thanks for the clarification.
I guess installing xfce4-panel-profiles is worth the while then.

Great. So you opted for xfce instead of cinnamon then.

I was also considering Linux Mint (the xfce edition) but wasn´t so sure about the flatpaks it comes with.
So I finally opted for Linux Lite. I guess both distros are great. :blush:

@nevj :

Yes, I guess that´s the way it should be as the bug seems to have been fixed from xfce4-panel 4.16.4 onwards.

Well, in my case it was nixnote2 which was still running.
All nixnote-related windows were already closed and the main window as well. Normally the respective icon would still have been visible in the panel reminding me to close the running nixnote instance before shutting down my system.

In that particular case it was my memory that said to me: wait, shouldn´ there still be nixnote running? Otherwise I would´ve forgotten to close it altogether.
So - to a degree - I think it makes sense to be able to rely on a “well-oiled” panel. :blush:

Many greetings to all of you.

Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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The Flatpaks is only user choice of whether or not to install. I’m currently doing a video series of making Xfce your own. I’m using Linux Mint Xfce because as it comes fully packed out with bloat, that in my video series I strip it back. Still using Linux Mint’s updater and their inbuilt apps, but their artwork has been stripped out, along with their icons, themes, wallpapers. Linux Lite and Linux Mint both come down at 2.6 or so GB and that is just ludicrous in my eyes. In my video series will eventually be making my own custom ISO (International-Standardization-Organisation) file with Cubic. I have my own dark theme with my name on, it’s GTK2 and it just works. I use Sardi-Ghost-Flexible icon theme from ArcoLinux. Part One and Two of my videos will be going up onto YouTube tomorrow.

You can keep hold of your saved panel and use it in any Xfce DE. You have to make sure to install panel-profiles first though. If you have the apps you use installed, it remembers on the panel where they are etc.


Hi Mark, :wave:

I´m really impressed. That´s huge. :+1:

I admire your knowledge. Hopefully I´ll be able to take a good look at your tutorials.
I guess I ´ll have to save up a bit of data first. :wink:

O.K. I see now. Thanks for the clarification.

Good luck with all of your efforts. :heart:

Many greetings
Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:


Rosika, I dont understand.
I have always naively assumed that if when I start a process it opens a window, then if I close the window I kill the process. You are telling me that is not always the case and you give the nixnote example.
I do understand that if you minimize the window, the process still runs, and the icon remains
And I know that there can be processes started from the command line, which never open a window and therefore do not have an icon.
But your case mystifies me.

I tried nixnote in MX. If I kill tne window with ‘X’ the icon stays and nixnote continues running. If I use File->Close the icon disappears and nixnote is not running.
That is quite different to most apps, eg Gimp, where either kill or close will terminate the app and remove the icon. I learned something today.
Nixnote looks interesting and useful.

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I made an iso once. Just 2 points

  • every distro makes its iso files its own way. There are no standards for how you structure it.
  • make sure you test it widely before release. There are issues that can make it trip up on some user’s systems , but be OK on most others.



I’m making it for myself through Cubic, won’t be distributing it. Just so I can reinstall it without having to go through all the hoops of getting rid of all the bloat it comes with. Libreoffice for instance causes the installation of Mint 21.1 Xfce to take 10 minutes to install. All of the unnecessary themes over 2GB worth. There is no need for all the bloat. I have stripped it out, but still keeping it Linux Mint, just without their default themes, my own theme only. Libreoffice should be a choice the user makes, not there out of the box.


Hi Neville, :wave:

Yes, I think it depends on the settings of nixnote2.
I just took a look at it and I saw that “minimize in taskbar” (rough translation) is checked on the appearance-tab.

This setting seems to result in the following behaviour:
When closing the window with the “x” in the upper right corner the window is minimized instad of the process being shut down.
Of course I can untick this setting, but by default it comes as being ticked.

So the icon in the panel would remind me of the stll running nixnote-process… :blush:

Yes, that´scorrect. It´s the same with me.

Indeed, it is is - at least for me.
I keep a lot of notes in it…

…from interesting links (still to read) to Hungarian vocabulary and grammar and other stuff :wink: .

Thanks a lot and many greetings from Rosika :slightly_smiling_face:

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The other approach to avoiding bloat isto start with a minimal (eg net install) distro and only add what you need . Gentoo is like that, but you can do it with any distro.

OK, I misunderstood, you are not making an iso for distribution.

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Hi Rosika,
Thanks, I am learning .
One day I may be able to use a DE properly instead of treating it like a window manager.


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