Mac Style Menu Bar For Ubuntu

Have you used Mac before? If yes you know how beautiful top panel menu bar looks. If you haven`t used Mac yet don`t worry, I will explain what it is. Mac has central menu bar place on the top panel which is shared among all the applications. The menu bar usually contains menus such as “File”, “Edit”, “Help” etc. as you may already know.

The good thing about this is all applications share the same place for rendering their  menubar and no matter which program you are accessing the main menu bar always apears in top panel in Mac. The red arrows show this place on top panel.

Its possible to have similar menu bar in Ubuntu by using package “gnome2-globalmenu”.

If you are wondering why to use this kind of menubar, reasons would be :

  • Suppose that you have 5 applications open. Then these programs will have 5 different menubars of thier own. By using globalmenu at a time only one menu bar will be visiblereducing clutter.
  • In the same scenario you might click the wrong menu item (happened with me a lot of time before), so unintentional clicks can be avoided.
  • It looks sexy.

Installation :

In terminal,

sudo aptitude install gnome-globalmenu

Customization:

Once installed, you would want to make some changes to top panel to get more unified look.

Right click the Ubuntu logo from top panel -> “Remove from the Panel”.

Right click top panel -> “Add to Panel” -> “Main menu” -> Add.

Right click just to the right side of Ubuntu logo and add “Global Menu Panel Applet” from “Add to Panel” menu.

The globalmenu should be working now if not continue reading.

Troubleshooting :

  1. Globalmenu doesnt show up : Logout and press “Ctrl+Alt+Backspace” to restart gdm. Relogin.
  2. Still not showing : Make sure ~/.gnomerc contains uncommented line “export GTK_MODULES=globalmenu-gnome”. If its commented remove the “#” and follow the fix1.
  3. Globalmenu isnt well aligned : Notice globalmenu applet has the seperator to its left. Drag this according to your taste.
  4. Menu is shown in GTK applications as well as on panel : right click menubar on top panel -> preferences -> General settings tab -> untick “Show local menu in a window”.
  5. Firefox and some other applications are not supported by globalmenu as of yet.
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