Sunday, May 22, 2011

Disable / Enable Global Menu in Natty Narwhal

In Unity, Global Menu (AppMenu) is enabled by default for all applications which support it.

In classic Gnome, you can enable it by adding the respective applet to the desired panel.


Disable Global Menu

Run a command similar to this, in this example for Gedit:


Enable both Global and in-app Menus

Run a command similar to this, in this example again for Gedit:



If you want to allways run some applications with those settings, you can modify their respective .desktop files, located for example in
  • "/usr/share/applications": system-wide
  • "~/local/share/applications": user-specific
All applications in Unity

To disable Global Menu:

echo "export UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0" | sudo tee /etc/X11/Xsession.d/81ubuntumenuproxy > /dev/null

To re-enable it again, just delete the previously created file:

sudo rm /etc/X11/Xsession.d/81ubuntumenuproxy

Re-login after either of these operations.

All applications in classic Gnome

To enable Global Menu:
  1. right-click on the desired panel
  2. choose "Add to Panel"
  3. select "Indicator Applet Appmenu"
  4. click on "Add", then "Close"

To disable it again:
  1. right-click on it
  2. choose "Remove From Panel"
  3. confirm with "OK"
For some applications in classic Gnome, the applet might crash/hang or cause some other issues. In that case, restarting Gnome Panel can fix it.

Press Alt+F2 and enter:

killall gnome-panel


If you want to enable Global Menu support for LibreOffice to make it consistent with the rest of your desktop:

sudo apt-get install lo-menubar

It has been reported that there might be issues with LibreOffice's Global Menu support, so if you need/want to disable it again:

sudo apt-get purge lo-menubar


Firefox has its own add-on to enable Global Menu support. If you want to disable/enable it separately, you can do that in its Add-ons manager.

Also, as you may already know, you can disable/enable Firefox' menu bar by right-clicking at it, or any other toolbar, and choosing it in the upcoming context menu.


The current version of Chromium provided by the official repos of Natty Narwhal doesn't support Global Menu.

You could try the latest version of Chromium provided by the daily-builds PPA to enable Global Menu support:

UPDATE 06/16/2011: As of now, version 12 of Chromium is available in all official repos of the current Ubuntu releases, thus Global Menu support is now included in it, too. See below how to enable it.


The current 'stable' version of Chrome provided by Google doesn't support Global Menu.

You could try the 'beta' version of Chrome to enable Global Menu support:

After the installation, refer to the guide for Chromium on how to enable Global Menu.

UPDATE 06/10/2011: Google just released version 12 of Chrome, which includes Global Menu support. Chromium users must have to wait a little longer, it seems. To enable Global Menu:
  1. Open Chrome.
  2. In the address bar, enter: "about:flags".
  3. In the tab that opens, scroll down to the bottom.
  4. Click on "Enable" under "Experimental GNOME menu bar support".

Related Posts:

Global Menu , Natty Narwhal , Unity , Usability