pam-panel-icon should be automatically started when starting an X11 desktop environment. For example, in GNOME gnome-session should be configured to start pam-panel-icon. In a properly configured system it should never be necessary to start pam-panel-icon manually.
pam-panel-icon uses pam_timestamp_check(8) to watch the pam_timestamp timestamp status. If the pam_timestamp authorization is active, allowing an unprivileged user to temporarily authenticate as the root user without providing a password, an icon in the notification area of the panel is displayed. The icon allows dropping the authorization immediately.
Ordinarily, pam-panel-icon keeps running until the X11 desktop session ends, and then returns 0. pam-panel-icon only returns with non-zero status on unexpected error.
A hard-coded location of the pam_timestamp_check executable.