Integrating Global Application Menu with GNOME Shell

The concept Global AppMenu was first introduced by Canonical's unity shell in GNU/Linux world. Despite of several negative opinions on unity shell, Global AppMenu was a widely accepted feature. It was bless for people migrating from other operating systems like macOS because it is already a familiar feature for them. It was also accepted by people who appreciate efficient use of screen space, especially those who own netbooks and small sized displays.

Since the inception of Global AppMenu in unity shell, there has been several attempts to introduce this idea in other desktop environments. Vala AppMenu developed by rilian-la-te(github id) is one of the notable extension/plugin for Global AppMenu integration. It works with Vala panel, xfce4 panel, mate panel and even with budgie panel. This makes it a popular extension for enabling Global AppMenu.

A preview of Global Application Menu extension with GNOME shell

In this tutorial, I would like to demonstrate installation of a Global AppMenu extension in GNOME Desktop environment. For this, I'm planning to use GNOME Global AppMenu extension developed by lestcape(github).

Option 1 : Install from Github repository (Advanced users only)

You can download GNOME Global AppMenu extension from github and install it. If you are an advanced user, I don't have to tell you how to install an extension. You can do it yourself.

Option 2 : Install from GNOME Extensions portal (Older versions of GNOME Shell)

GNOME Global AppMenu extension currently supports versions ranging from 3.18 - 3.24. 

If you are using GNOME 3.18 or 3.20, you can go to gnome extensions website and search for GNOME Global Application Menu.  

GNOME Global Application Menu extension in GNOME extensions website. See ON/OFF toggle button shown in website. It won't be visible in unsupported websites.

Open the resulting extension and click ON/OFF toggle button. It will automatically download and install app menu extensions on your system.

Once installation is done, you will be notified to restart system. You don't have to restart the system. A simple restart is sufficient enough.

For restarting gnome shell, press ALT + F2 key combination, and type 'r' in resulting dialog window. Then press enter. Your shell will be restarted with newly installed AppMenu extension.

Option 3 : Install from GNOME Software (Newer versions of GNOME Shell)

For newer versions of GNOME Shell, GNOME Extension website will be disabled by default. In that case, you can search for GNOME Global Application Menu in GNOME Software and install from there.

I have not tried this step myself. So can not guarantee whether it will work or not. Sorry for that.

If it is not working, you can goto Github repository as mentioned in option 1 and install extension from there.

If you need any help or clarifications please let me know in comment box.


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