gnome2-globalmenu – Global Menu Bar for GNOME

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The Gnome2 GlobalMenu project is an attempt to produce a GTK module and panel applet for gnome2 that acts as a global public menu for all gtk-powered applications. Instead of the application menu appearing on the actual window below the window manager "bar" it always appears on the panel.

There are several advantages by adopting a shared global menu bar in Gnome :

* It works better with narrow windows, because the width of the menus isn't limited to the width of the window. (This is a problem for Gimp and Inkscape especially.)

* It's less confusing --- when two menu bars are visible on-screen at once, sometimes people choose the wrong one.

* Global Menu is the first step to move toward a Document Centric Desktop environment which is, according to us, a long-term trend in DEs.

Install gnome2-globalmenu in ubuntu

To install packages from gnome2-globalmenu PPA, you need to tell Ubuntu where to find it. You do this by giving Ubuntu the PPA's URL, which you can find on the PPA's overview page.

Open System ? Administration ? Software Sources and press Third Party Software.

Press Add to add a new repository.

Enter the APT line for the extra repository. add one of the following lines

For Ubuntu 9.04(Jaunty) Users

deb jaunty main
deb-src jaunty main

For Ubuntu 8.10(Intrepid) Users

deb intrepid main
deb-src intrepid main

For Ubuntu 8.04(Hardy) Users

deb hardy main
deb-src hardy main

Press Add Source and then click Close to save your changes.

You will be notified that the information about available software is out-of-date. Press Reload.

Now download the GPG key from here

Once you have downloaded the GPG key, import the key by selecting the Authentication tab, clicking on Import Key File, and then selecting the GPG key to be imported.

Now search for gnome-globalmenu package and install

You can also install from command line using the following command

sudo apt-get install gnome-globalmenu

NOTE: On Hardy, after clicking "Enable Global Menu" in the applet's preference window, nothing happens. It's because gnome-settings-daemon in hardy is old and doesn't support loading external Gtk plugin modules. You can either upgrade to Intrepid or you have to export GTK_MODULES=globalmenu-gnome manually in either .gnomerc or .bash_profile.

Global Menu is the globally-shared menu bar of all applications launched in your desktop session.


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19 Responses

  1. Joshua_Brighton says:

    Any clues on compatibility with Karmic?

  2. “It works better(…)”, “It’s less confusing(…)”, “move toward a Document Centric(…)”

    Why don’t you just say “it’s to look like MacOS”? =p

  3. Jay says:

    When are you going to release the 9.10 build?

  4. kenbw2 says:

    Because that’d be too close to admitting where Ubuntu is going these days. Getting unhappy with it personally

  5. pezmanlou says:

    @kenbw2 It’s not like Ubuntu is going to start coming with this as a default configuration. Some people will get a kick out of this, and it seems to be a more efficient use of screen space.

  6. fredunderhill says:

    for all you Karmic users, the Jaunty repository works, since there is not one for Karmic yet.

  7. Alexander says:

    does anyone know how to use it? I intalled the software but i dont see (or find) any changes



  8. Global menu panel applet caused all the gnome-system-monitor, Pidgin, Inkscape crashes/ failures to start on my system (karmic). Turning global menu applet off fixed the problems.

  9. Alexander says:

    Ahh ok it is an applet^^

    but does anyone know a shortcut for dropping the list of running application?



  10. digitalSceptic says:

    Thats exactly why i dont like osx 😉 For multiscreen/multiwindow-setups its a pain to use. To reach menus of not-active windows you have to select window first, then move to panel… kills workflow

  11. RB says:

    This was/is one of the features I cannot stand about the Mac interface. I can see where it would be a nice feature for those who are used to the Mac interface and it may steal some of those users away. But for the market share that has to work in the Windows world, it is a major productivity killer as digitalSceptic pointed out.

  12. amyznikov says:

    I am using many KDE apps in my Gnome desktop, but these apps are not handled. Also the FireFox and Thunderbird menus are not handled too. So, do you planning to handle these apps as well?


  13. ben2talk says:

    I used this in Jaunty – but it doesn’t seem to be available in Karmic, I added the PPA and tried an install, but the solutions to the problems are too numerous.

  14. digi says:

    Good for RSI

    This may be good when you have a small screen, but now a days most desktop environments have large screens, or dual screen set ups. You’ll just add a lot more miles on your mouse.

  15. pqs says:

    digi, it is obvious that you don’t use a netbook. by the way, do you think that everybody has dual screens??!!!

  16. borgio3 says:

    Nice, perhaps useful, and usable, but in my Jaunty don’t work.

    Ciao 🙂

  17. @marcelobernard
    That is a known bug for Global Menu 0.7.5. Using 0.7.8 Beta fixes the problems.

  18. airtonix says:

    @ RB, digitalSceptic, kenbw2 : then don’t install it. No one is forcing you to and conversly your opinion should not be something that prevents others from doing so.

    @ Peterson Espaçoporto,
    why? because thats like saying my couch looks like a a typical Vardingo Calcimo…

    if you don’t know what that means then too bad…

    but of course i could just say it has four legs and two arms and nice comfy cushions that allow for sleeping.

  19. @airtonix

    Sounds like a good reason.

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