What does the lock Icon mean?


I am using Gnome (41.1 at the moment via Fedora 35) for many years.

I like it that it is very clean, but maybe the systray has gone a bit too far with this philosophy?!
The systray shows me several interesting icons, informing me about my wifi reception, that bluetooth is enabled, how loud my volume is and how full my battery is charged, which is great! If I click on one of them, the same menu is opened, combining settings to all of these things, and more, which was somewhat strange at the beginning, but after getting used to is OK.

However, since today a new icon has appeared:
an opened lock, with an exclamation mark! So looks important, but doesn’t show up in the menu or any other place I have looked so far. It isn’t provided by any of my extensions (I am not using that many anyway) , and I have no clue how to get more info about it! Googling doesn’t help, so my last resort is to ask it here.

First of all I want to know what it means of course,
but besides that, I wanted to let you know that there currently is now obvious way (for me) to find out what this icon means!

I’ve attached a screenshot of only the icon:

and look forward to here what it means, and how I was supposed to find out by myself what it is.

1 Like

That icon denotes the unsafe mode is active. The mode allows other programs to execute code inside GNOME Shell, among other things. Regular users should not really see that, as it needs to be explicitly activated by running global.context.unsafe_mode = true in Looking glass or by starting gnome-shell with --unsafe-mode argument. If you did not do that, perhaps some extension did it on your behalf?


Thanks for the fast reply!

And good to know what it means, because now I know that it is caused by the patch I installed for the gnome-shell-screenshot extension that made it compatible with 41. https://github.com/OttoAllmendinger/gnome-shell-screenshot/commit/71865a120479ed1cf074325f3c5ddc51a5c0cfec#diff-7799bc59d20a410efcea372effd9a83697adaa4734aa22712901d41809c3bd17R1286

I was under the impression this was a workaround needed to make it work, but I will remove the unsafe_mode call then.

In my search I disabled all extensions, which made the screenshot tool itself got disabled, but this didn’t undo the unsafe mode (which I can understand).

Still food for thought about making clear in gnome itself what is going on, since I still wouldn’t know how I could find this out myself. Hovering over the icon doesn’t pop up any info, and it doesn’t show up as a warning in the menu either when clicking on the systray.

It probably is, if the extension has a program that wants to access the Shell’s D-Bus APIs like Eval.
Perhaps the screenshot extension could whitelist just itself like GPaste does.

Yeah, the extension should probably restore the original value on when disabling it but I understand why they did not want to bother.

Agreed. Unfortunately GNOME Shell does not really support tooltips (not on mouseover nor on tap&hold like on Android). But perhaps a text in the menu would be okay too.