Please note: this article is for users of Ubuntu 10.04 through to 11.10 – users of 12.04 onwards read this guide instead.
If you’ve just upgraded to 10.04 “Lucid Lynx” and found that the volume icon/button is missing from the system tray (at the far-right of the top Gnome panel), there are two ways you can get it back:
Right-click an empty area of the panel, choose Add to Panel, then drag Indicator Applet to next to the clock in the system tray, or wherever you want to put it instead. The volume button will be restored, but as part of the Indicator Applet which also has a mail/message notifier for Evolution and messaging apps, as well as showing when other apps like Rhythmbox music player are open.
OR (if you don’t want to use the Indicator Applet,
but want the old volume button back):
Use Alt+F2 to open the Run Application app, paste gnome-volume-control-applet into the text field, and click the Run button (you can also enter the command into a terminal, but the button will disappear if you close the terminal). To get it to start automatically from the next reboot, go to System > Preferences > Startup Applications and add it as a new entry with a name like “Volume Button”.
Here are some ways to Customise your Indicator Applet:
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