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Quick update for Lubuntu 14.04 users: the bug that caused the Network Manager icon not to show up on the panel by default was finally fixed today. 

Lubuntu 14.04 shipped with a pretty annoying (and a deal-breaker for many new users I'd say) bug: the Network Manager icon wasn't displayed on the panel by default. There was a pretty simple work-around, but for some reason it didn't work for all the users. Well, this bug was finally fixed today so the Network Manager icon should now show up for everyone.

The bug was caused by lxsession, which failed to start applications from system directories.  

To get the fix, simply open the Software Updater and install all the available updates. Then use the following command to check your lxsession version:
apt-cache policy lxsession

The command above should display something like this:
Version table:
*** 0
400 http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ trusty-proposed/universe i386 Packages
100 /var/lib/dpkg/status 0
500 http://archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ trusty/universe i386 Packages
Notice that the version has "1.1" at the end. If yours doesn't, then the latest lxsession wasn't synchronized yet with the mirror you're using so you can either wait until your mirror is updated or temporarily switch to the main server (Software & Updates > Ubuntu Software tab: under "Download from" select "Main server").

Once you've updated to the latest lxsession version, log out and log back in and the Network Manager icon should show up on the panel.