Gnome Global Menu (GN)

Gnome-Global Menu (GN) is an applet available for Linux (Ubuntu) that will give you a Mac styled menu bar that replaces the file bar for most programs. It is a single File bar that adapts to which ever program is selected or “focused”. There are some programs that aren’t affected and you will have to use the default bar. A major one would be Firefox which doesn’t work because it does not comply with GNU specifications. (For those who don’t like me calling it a Mac menu bar deal with it cause Mac was the first to incorporate it)

Using the PPA to install GN

  1. Open SystemAdministrationSoftware Sources
  2. Pres the Other Software tab
  3. Press Add to add a new repository.
  4. Enter the APT line for the extra repository.
  5. After adding source close out and it will ask you to reload software
  6. You will have to download the GPG key so that you can download the software. Here is the key: Global Menu GPG Key
  7. Open up Software Sources again and go the Authentication tab and click “Import Key File…”
  8. Click the GPG key you just downloaded and then close out.
  9. To install GM start Terminal and type:
  10. sudo apt-get install gnome-globalmenu

  11. After installation right click on the desired bar and add Global Menu Applet
  12. Log out and log back in and you should have you bar ready to go.

The advantage to using the PPA package is that you will get automatic updates and the program is handled automatically. This makes uninstalling just as easy. Now i will show you how to use the source files (*.tar.gz/*.tar.bz2) to install/compile them yourself. The Advantages of managing a program yourself is that you can change it to your needs. You can also use source files to test betas and variants.

Source Install

  1. First download the source file. Which is in a *.tar.gz or *.tar.bz2 archive
  2. Extract the folder inside to a directory that you want to manage from
  3. Look inside the folder for installation instructions to install and/or compile, which are contained in a simple .txt file usually called “INSTALL”
    • Some programs do not have the option to compile into a *.deb package and only do a direct install
    • First to make management of your programs easier we will use a program that will compile the files, keep track of the files, and install the program while still giving you control over the program and packaging.
    • This program is called checkinstall
      install using:
      sudo aptitude install checkinstall
  4. With checkinstall the install will become easier. Open Terminal
  5. We need to mount the globalmenu folder to access the files in Terminal using:
    cd /home/user/documents/globalmenu-0.18
    cd is used to mount the directory. make sure to include the program folder last so that you actually mount into it. Don’t use that exact directory it is only an example.
  6. Then enter in the command:
    This step will find all the dependencies and make sure you have the needed files to make the program work, *At the end it will tell you what files you are missing. Make note of them and I will explain what to do. You will not need to complete this until you have the dependencies.
  7. Assuming you have all the dependencies you will now enter:
    sudo checkinstall
  8. It will ask you to type in a description for the package. Follow all the instructions that will be shown in the Terminal. It will ask you various things like seeing a list of all the files. If you notice it doesn’t give you a [y/n] option. it only shows one letter. that because it’s the recommended action. if you just press enter then it will take the default action and continue with the compiling and installing. I suggest that you take the default actions because all those options are asking you is if you want to see all the files and dependencies that were extracted installed.
  9. When it is finished it will show you a command to uninstall it and give you various commands on making short cuts for easier access. Unless you are compiling a library or dependency then it will only give you the uninstall command

*If you had dependency problems download the source files for the dependencies that you were missing and use this same tutorial to install those using the same steps. If possible try finding the .deb packages or PPA for the dependencies to make installing them easier. After installing all the needed files go back to the beginning, Mount the folder, configure, and checkinstall. If you have any questions just leave them in a comment below and I will answer to the best of my knowledge. Good luck!

NOTICE: I will be adding screen shots of the terminal and examples of codes. Later I will do a screen-cast on this and add to the post.


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