What's supposed to replace menus?

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Wed Mar 14 14:36:41 UTC 2012

On 14 March 2012 00:23, Gerhard Magnus <magnus at agora.rdrop.com> wrote:
> As a newcomer to Ubuntu 11.10 (from Fedora 14, the last of its line to run
> without problems) I'm still trying to adjust to the Unity desktop. (By the
> way, is it correct to call Unity a desktop, equivalent to the old Big Two of
> Gnome and KDE?) I'm getting more comfortable working with that Mac-like bar
> at the top of my screen and have installed a familiar-looking taskbar (Panel
> Tint2) at the bottom so I can easily switch between windows. But the
> complete absence of menus (except for the short one I get clicking on the
> upper righthand corner) has me wondering if I'm missing some basic
> difference between old and new desktops; maybe not as big as a paradigm
> shift, but still something different about how this sort of interface is
> supposed to work. 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 was going to ask which menus had disappeared or gone, because I
could not tell what you meant, but from others' responses in this
thread, it has become clear. You meant the application-launch menus.
Others have pointed out alternative mechanisms for this.

It does sound to me, I have to say, like you are not in fact adjusting
to Unity but are instead trying to turn Unity into a Windows-like
desktop with a taskbar and launch menus. That is like trying to turn a
car into a boat. You might be able to do it, but it is a big job and
will result in a very poor-quality boat.

For instance, there is no point in adding a taskbar to Unity. It has a
perfectly good task switcher already - the Launcher, down the
left-hand side. Now, you have two. This is hardly an improvement!

If you want a two-panel desktop with a taskbar and launch menus, then
don't try to force Unity into that mould - just install Xfce, or
better still, wipe and reinstall with Xubuntu. It is very readily
customised into that form.

I suggest that you ensure that you have a separate /home partition so
that you can, if you wish, experiment with different distros and
desktops with greater ease in future.

Liam Proven • Profile: http://lproven.livejournal.com/profile
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