Archives For November 30, 1999

Though it’s not perfect, Global menu is still possible in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 21.04 with the default Gnome Desktop.

It used to have a Gnome Global Menu extension to enable focused app menus (e.g., File, Edit, View, Help, etc.) in the top panel. It is however discontinued because GTK+ development is blocking the uniform support for the global menu to the Gtk+ applications.

Users can still use Fildem global menu to get the function in Ubuntu 20.04, Ubuntu 20.10, and Ubuntu 21.04, though it does not work with most Gnome Apps.

NOTE: The Extension is NO longer updated! It won’t work in current Ubuntu 22.04 and higher.

1.) Install Fildem global menu extension.

Firstly, open terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard. When terminal opens, run commands to install the packages for installing and toggling Gnome Extension:

sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell gnome-shell-extension-pres

Next, go to extension web page and turn on the slider icon to install it.

If you don’t see the toggle icon, click the top ‘Click here to install browser extension’ link to install browser extension and refresh the web page.

2.) Install and Configure the External App

To make the function work, you have to install the external app.

a.) Download and double-click to install the “fildem_x.x.x_all.deb” package from the link below:

Or install the package via sudo apt install ~/Downloads/fildem_*_all.deb command.

b.) Open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run command to edit the .gtkrc-2.0 file.

gedit ~/.gtkrc-2.0

When the file opens, add gtk-modules="appmenu-gtk-module" to the end.

c.) Next edit the .config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini file via command:

gedit ~/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini

And also add gtk-modules="appmenu-gtk-module" line to the end. Also, add [Settings] line before it if not exist.

3.) Start Global Menu:

Finally in a terminal window, run command fildem &.

Search for and open Extensions utility. When it opens, click on the gear button to configure the Gnome Extension:

  • Toggle off ‘Show menu only when the mouse is over the panel’ option.
  • Change the Button padding as you prefer.

Now global menu should work for apps, e.g., Google Chrome, Chromium, GIMP, Audacious, Shutter, LibreOffice, etc.

Sadly, most Gnome Apps as well as Firefox does not work with global menu. If you intend to get it work with Firefox, install the one from Ubuntu 18.04 repository (all current Ubuntu releases has the latest Firefox packages).

4.) Auto-start Fildem global menu:

To make the function work on startup, search for and open ‘Startup Applications‘ utility. Then click on Add button to add:

  • Type fildem in command box.
  • Type Name and Comment as you prefer.

How to Remove Fildem global menu:

To remove fildem package, open terminal and run command:

sudo apt remove python3-fildem --autoremove

And remove the extension via Extensions utility.

To remove the auto-start service, just remove which you created in step 4.

How to Enable Global Menu in XFCE Desktop

Last updated: July 14, 2017

xfce global menu

To save screen space, Ubuntu Unity uses Mac OS X style global menu that integrates applications’ menu bar into the top panel.

Thanks to TopMenu developer and Webupd8 Team for building the project into PPA, now XFCE Desktop has a plugin to enable the Mac style global menu bar.

Xfce Global Menu

How to install TopMenu plugin for XFCE:

For (X)Ubuntu 14.04, (X)Ubuntu 14.10, (X)Ubuntu 15.04, and Linux Mint 17/17.1, this Xfce plugin is available in the webupd8 PPA.

1. Open terminal from the application menu. When it opens, run command to add the PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:webupd8team/mate

2. Update system package cache, install “xfce4-topmenu-plugin” as well as other extra plugins.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xfce4-topmenu-plugin libtopmenu-gtk3 libtopmenu-qt topmenu-mozilla-extension

3. After installing this plugin, you have to restart Xfce session by logging out and back in to load the Topmenu modules.

4. Finally, right-click on panel and navigate to Panel -> Panel Preferences. Under items tab, add “TopMenu” and change its position.


For issues, please reports to

Global Menu for NetBeans, Intellij, Android Studio

Want to enable the Unity AppMenu (Global Menu) support for NetBeans IDE, IntelliJ IDEA, Android Studio, etc in Ubuntu?

UPDATE: This tutorial does NOT work anymore for Ubuntu 16.04 and later!

Thanks to open source, there’s a project called java-swing-ayatana that enables Global Menu as well as HUD support for all Java Swing Applications in Ubuntu Unity desktop.

Here are some applications with Global Menu enabled via java-swing-ayatana:

Android Studio With Global Menu

NetBeans With Global Menu

jDownloader With Global Menu

Install java-swing-ayatana in Ubuntu:

The developer has made a PPA contains the packages for Ubuntu 14.04, Ubuntu 14.10. An old version also available for Ubuntu 13.10.

Press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal. When it opens, run the commands below one by one:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:danjaredg/jayatana

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install jayatana

Above commands will add the developer’s PPA, update your system cache and finally install the java-swing-ayatana.

Once you installed the package, log out and back in to apply changes.

(Optional) To restore settings, just run the command below to uninstall the project:

sudo apt-get --purge remove jayatana libjayatana libjayatanaag libjayatana-java libjayatanaag-java

That’s it. Enjoy!

Enable Global Menu in Elementary OS Luna

Last updated: February 10, 2014

Global Menu in Elementary OS Luna

Want to try the Ubuntu Unity-Style Global Menu in Elementary OS Luna? Well, it’s easy to accomplish this via super wingpanel.

Super Wingpanel, wingpanel from the elementaryos project with some additional features:

  • auto hide / intellihide / intellislim
  • slim mode a la wingpanel-slim

First take a look at the result:

global menu in elementary os Luna

global menu in elementary os luna

NOTE: Super Wingpanel is not stable at the moment, use it at your own risk!

To install this tool, press Ctrl+Alt+T on your keyboard to open the terminal. When it opens, run the commands below one by one:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:heathbar/super-wingpanel-daily

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install super-wingpanel

To get it working, indicator-appmenu and dconf-tools are needed. Install them via:

sudo apt-get install indicator-appmenu dconf-tools

To enable Global Menu:

1. Open dconf Editor from the Applications menu.

2. Navigate to org -> pantheon -> cerbere, enable appmenu and super wingpanel by changing the value of monitored-process to:

[‘plank’, ‘slingshot-launcher –silent’, ‘env UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0 super-wingpanel’]

enable super wingpanel

3. Navigate to org -> pantheon -> desktop -> super-wingpanel, change the value of blacklist to:



Log out and back in. Done.