What's supposed to replace menus?

Mike Kupfer m.kupfer at acm.org
Wed Mar 14 04:39:28 UTC 2012

Gerhard Magnus wrote:

> Is using some customized version of the panel on the left, or
> else clicking on the "Dash" button and then typing at least part of
> the program name supposed to replace familiar menus like
> "Applications", "Places", and "System"? What was the motivation here
> for getting rid of menus? I can live without them, but I'd sure like
> to know why they left in the first place!

I can't answer the question about intent, but I do have a few hints I
hope you'll find useful.  (This is the result of a few hours of playing
with Unity over the past few months.)

First, it's very easy to customizer the Launcher, at least for standard
applications.  Once you have an application running, right-click its
icon in the Launcher and select "Keep in launcher".  Similarly, for
icons you don't care about, deselect "Keep in launcher".  You can
rearrange the applications by dragging the icons around.  (You
need to do a short horizontal drag first, then you can move the icon

For applications that aren't accessible via the Dash, you can create a
.desktop file using the gnome-desktop-item-edit command.  Put the
.desktop file in a permanent place in your home folder.  Then drag it
into the Launcher (via Nautilus).  (Alas, I don't remember which
package contains gnome-desktop-item-edit.)  If you put the .desktop file
in $HOME/.local/share/applications, you'll also be able to run it
from the GNOME shell.

Second, if you want to browse the applications in a structured manner,
bring up the Dash, click on More Apps, then click on "Filter results"
(upper right corner).  The filter categories sort of correspond to the
different submenus you might see under an Applications menu.  I can't
remember if you need the unity-lens-applications package for this.

Third, with respect to no longer having the Places menu, you can still
create and access bookmarks via Nautilus.  And if you have the
unity-lens-files package installed, the Dash will have an icon along the
bottom row that looks like a blank file icon (with the corner folded
over).  Clicking on that will give you recently accessed files, as well
as other file choices.  And I just noticed, the files lens also has some
filters (age of the file, size, type).

best regards,

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