Global Menu in Xfce

When I wrote on how to add window buttons and titles to Xfce’s panel, I mentioned that there was no way to add Unity-style global menu to the panel, thus saving screen space. Well, not anymore.

I have read on WebUpd8 that Topmenu, an global menu add-on for MATE, has been made available for Xfce. If you use Xfce on any Ubuntu-based distributions, install Topmenu by adding WebUpd’s repository:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8/mate

sudo apt-get upgrade

sudo apt-get install xfce4-topmenu-plugin libtopmenu-client-gtk2-0 libtopmenu-server-gtk2-0 libtopmenu-client-gtk3-0 libtopmenu-server-gtk3-0 topmenu-gtk2 topmenu-gtk3

Then open your terminal and create a file in /etc/profile.d/:

pkexec mousepad /etc/profile.d/

Then, paste this code:


export GTK_MODULES=$GTK_MODULES:topmenu-gtk-module

After doing that, log out and back in, and add Topmenu from Xfce’s panel preferences. Here’s what Topmenu would look like:

Workspace 4_001_21022015
Workspace 4_004_21022015

But Topmenu still has some imperfections. For example, it  won’t show the global menu for Qt and KDE apps.


Topmenu also looks great on some GTK themes, but not so on others.

From top: Albatross, Flatbird, Numix-Solarized, Zoncolor-Xtras-Canonical
From top: Bluebird, Mediterranean-Night, Moka

I have set it so that I could switch focus of windows on mouse over instead of clicking on them, so I could switch between windows more quickly. It made me aware that Topmenu would flicker when you switch windows instead of having a transition animation like Unity’s global menu.


Topmenu still have lots of issues, but it’s still very useful. Not only it saves screen space, it combined with Windowck’s window buttons suits the familiar, comfortable ‘menus on the left corner, buttons on the right corner’ layout.

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