Saturday, November 24, 2012

How To: Prevent use of global menu in Ubuntu Unity

I didn't really mind when Ubuntu switched from using Gnome to their own Unity Interface. Today however, I've had issues with two desktop applications which were unable to play nicely with Unity.

The first one was the preview version of IntelliJ IDEA 12 which is due to be released next month. I reported the issue on the JetBrains Issue Tracker so hopefully it'll get resolved by the time it's released.

I later decided to use Gimp to create a new wallpaper for my desktop. After maximising the window I found that I was unable to access any of the menu options as the dropdown menus appear behind the application. Thankfully a very good post on showed a quick workaround for the problem. By adding "env UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0" to the 'Exec' line in the '.desktop' file you can force an application not to use the global menu.

So in the case of Gimp you would do:
$ sudo vim /usr/share/applications/gimp.desktop

Then edit the 'Exec' line to look something like this:
Exec=env UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0 gimp-2.6 %U