How to solve JungleDisk’s “Background Service Error” under Ubuntu 11.04 Unity

JungleDisk Desktop is great cloud backup and sync service run by RackSpace Hosting that offers unlimited online storage at the afforable rate of .15 USD per stored GB. While not as consumer-oriented and user friendly as its competitor Carbonite, I’ve gone cold turkey and am now using it exclusively on all my systems. Contrary to Carbonite, Jungle Disk is fully cross-platform with support for Windows (desktop and server editions), Mac OS X 10.5+ and Linux (DEB, RPM and TAR).

Linux support is becoming more important to me because I’m currently evaluating whether Ubuntu 11.04 could become by main operating system (I’ll most likely stay in a dual-boot environment). In the light of these evaluations, I installed JungleDisk Desktop on all my Ubuntu-based systems. Installation went smoothly thanks to the pre-compiled .DEB packages, so did the initial setup wizard. Great. So I put the JungleDisk Desktop icon in my Unity dock for easy access..


However, clicking the icon causes the following error dialog to pop-up consistently:

Background Service Error

Jungle Disk Desktop is running in standalone mode and has detected the service is already running, or the service network port is in use.

Please stop the service, or run Jungle Disk Desktop in non-standalone mode.

I tried running it from the terminal, and looked into JungleDisk’s CLI parameters with the –help switch, to no avail. After searching high and low, I decided to contact JungleDisk support, as there was no mention of this behavior anywhere on the net.


It turns out this behavior is specific to Ubuntu 11.04’s new UI shell ‘Unity’. Normally, JungleDisk puts an icon in the system tray in the top right. Clicking on this icon opens the Jungle Disk Monitor app, which in this case, can’t be accessed because Unity hides the tray icon for some reason.


The workaround to this issue is to install dconf-tools and use it to allow the junglediskdesktop app to install itself into the tray.

First off, fetch and install dconf-tools by firing up a Terminal and entering:

sudo apt-get install dconf-tools

Then, open dconf-editor using the same terminal (don’t sudo!).
In this dialog, drill down the tree to: / > desktop > unity > panel

Here, append the string ‘junglediskdesktop’ to the systray-whitelist enumeration (see screenshot). You may need to end any existing junglediskdesktop process and restart it to get the tray icon.

That should remedy the situation! I hope I’ve saved someone some time by documenting this, it wasn’t at all obvious to me that the hidden tray icon was the culprit, as I was assuming that using the application shortcut would bring up the JungleDisk Activity monitor.

I’d like to thank JungleDisk for their speedy, friendly and to-the-point support on the matter. They helped me find the solution to this problem in a day’s time. Good job.


11 thoughts on “How to solve JungleDisk’s “Background Service Error” under Ubuntu 11.04 Unity

  1. works in 11.10 (!)After restarting my computer and starting jungledisk I now have a black square with a smaller red square icon in the panel.The value of my systray-whitelist is: ['JavaEmbeddedFrame', 'Wine', 'scp-dbus-service', 'Update-notifier', 'junglediskdesktop']

  2. This only works for me when running ONE monitor. When running 2 monitors the iconis not available. This is true for all whitelisted icon's except for unity specific icons. (e.g. Google Chrome, Shutter, etc… display the same behaviour, work wiht one monitor, hidden with two)

  3. Does anybody know if this works for Ubuntu 12.04? I’ve tried it but it didn’t seem to work for me. I haven’t checked since re-booting my computer, though.

  4. It works for ubuntu 12.04. Just remember to re-boot your computer for the changes to take effect.

  5. Yep, works on 12.04 as Camil Boyd stated above. Been having other issues with JungleDisk though (mostly stability) and I’ve moved on to another solution.

  6. Thanks, great post, this had me really foxed.(12.04). I’m using Jungledisk Workgroup but your fix works just as well, simply substituting ‘junglediskworkgroup’ for ‘junglediskdesktop’.
    I did not need to reboot btw.

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