Overclock.net › Forums › Software, Programming and Coding › Operating Systems › Linux, Unix › Changing default menu in any desktop environment
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Changing default menu in any desktop environment

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I have made numerous attempts now on different DE's to install a different menu from the default to no avail. I have tried installing packages for different menus that seems to install without issue, but I have no clue how to get it to appear on the panel. There seems to be some sort of list of panel options/widgets/applets for different DE's and I haven't been able to find any info on how to add to this list. Often you can just make an application launcher and if that worked for a third party menu then that would be an easy solution, but I haven't come across one that installs in such a manner.

I think part of my problem is that words such as 'panel' and 'menu' are so underwhelmingly generic that I am unable to narrow down the info I am looking for. I just spent another hour digging through the Arch wiki seeing if they had a page on it or info listed under different DE's, but so far my search has come up empty. I also tried going through freedesktop.org and wikipedia to try and find something related to what I am looking for (either stand alone application menus or ones built for specific desktops), but I haven't found anything involving adding or replacing any menus with the exception of Whisker in XFCE (now default) or Configurable Menu in Cinnamon, and those happen to be the 2 DE's with default menus I like. I even went as far as to try and install the Cinnamon program that runs the applets to try and get it that way but I don't know what I'm doing so I have no idea what exactly went wrong on that endeavor. I never got it to launch, but it might not even work outside of Cinnamon without a serious overhaul.

I was hoping there might be some DE agnostic menus that could be installed as long as you had the info on how to add it to the panel (either via adding to the list of applets or an application launcher). I would just stick with Cinnamon, but unfortunately it doesn't allow for vertical panels which is an absolute requirement for me. I haven't heard any word yet of them adding vertical panels to Cinnamon 3.0. I get along fine with stock LXDE and I like the XFCE Whisker menu, but I would like to play around with making my own custom Ubuntu with different DE, menu, and theme options. Getting something like the Cinnamon or Whisker menu (or other acceptable menu) to install on panels in other DE's would make some of them more bearable to use.

Just to give an idea of what I am looking for:

* mouse only navigation. I mostly use my HTPC and while I can use my keyboard, I don't want to have to type letters to find an application. My mouse sits on a granite tile on the arm of my chair and I don't want to require using my keyboard if I am eating or busy with a project in my lap. I do use an auto-hiding panel across the bottom for frequently used programs just a single click away. I am a bit more familiar with Linux now, but I still don't know every program by name and being able to use my mouse to hover and search is an important menu feature. If I have to look up installed programs via typing to figure out what they do and where they are in a menu tree then I will immediately RAGE-QUIT! devil.gif

* 2 click navigation. I want to click on a menu, hover my way through, and click what I want to use. Cinnamon and XFCE both excel in this area because they have a favorites pane as well as icons and descriptions. LXDE also works fine for me but would be a distant third compared to the other 2 (no favorites pane, no All Applications menu). The thing that made KDE unacceptable to me was the menu. Not having an 'all programs' menu listing on top of forcing you to click to back out of a submenu was aggravating. I would definitely give KDE another shot if it didn't have that problem.

* Easy recognition. Whisker with larger icons makes color recognition easier for familiar applications and having the description already visible is great for applications I rarely ever use. This goes double if I start changing DE's and have a new set of default applications which are totally foreign to me. Maybe some menus have smart search capabilities and coding fanatics who love their keyboards drool over that stuff, but I am not a typer and even if I was I still don't want a keyboard in my lap at my HTPC the entire time.

Excellent menu examples already exist, I just have no clue how to migrate them to different desktops! I'm NOT looking for gigantic hold-your-hand-as-we-navigate-80-config-files type posts unless it specifically targets Cinnamon menu or Whisker. If anyone knows of any independent menus and their installation methods, relatively straightforward methods to migrate any menu from one DE to the next, or links to place that have this kind of information then that would be great! I just ran across This Freedesktop Page which lays out some of the configuration stuff that I should probably learn, so hopefully that will be of some help to me. It's a shame there isn't a list of freedesktop compliant menus, but the site says it is being reconstructed. I'm sure any basic info along the same vein of changing menus would be enlightening.
post #2 of 7
Menu is part of the panel and I'm not sure disabling that is an option for Cinnamon. Trying to subvert the DE's design to hack on other options is not optimal, if you want full control over your support applications then switching to a WM and separately installing those extras is a better solution but it does require manual configuration.
Black & Green
(12 items)
 
Dev Box
(7 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Core2 Duo E7400 Asus P5Q Hyper-X  Sandisk 
OSPower
Fedora 22 Thermaltake 650W 
  hide details  
Reply
Black & Green
(12 items)
 
Dev Box
(7 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Core2 Duo E7400 Asus P5Q Hyper-X  Sandisk 
OSPower
Fedora 22 Thermaltake 650W 
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
In Cinnamon you can get an applet to change the menu from the default to Configurable Menu, so I know it is possible. Keep in mind I like the Cinnamon and XFCE menus; I wanted to change other DE's menus (specifically KDE, LXDE, and LXQt). In XFCE, LXDE, LXQt,(just off the top of my head) and probably many others you can configure the panel with a clock, application launcher, tons of other applets/widgets/whatever-name-they-use including the menu. Conversely, you can also remove the menu from the panel if you so desired.

For instance, I'm on an Ubuntu LXQt laptop with a second panel with an application launcher. one of the 'widgets' as it is called in this DE is an 'application menu', or what people call a 'start menu'. There must be some method they used to add the 'application menu widget' to the list of 'widgets', and with that same method there MUST be some way of adding a different menu. Not that they are all easily interchangeable, but I thought with all the different configurations people do around here that someone might have changed a default menu application and could enlighten me.

I realize Cinnamon is unique because they have community applets that can be made (I believe with javascript? not certain) and has a lot of flexibility because of it. Like I mentioned, I can understand that things in the Cinnamon DE might be tightly integrated to other components, and as such you probably can't extract the Cinnamon menu from the DE. But I see in Synaptic that the xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin exists as a separate package, available at least in LXDE and LXQt. If there was a way to either run it as a standalone program and make an application launcher for it (not sure how that would work), or add it as an applet/widget/whatever then it could be used on numerous DE's.

All it does is make a list of installed applications with easy to use links. From what I understand the Alacarte menu editor is compliant with specifications from freedesktop.org. DE's that follow those guidelines should have a relatively straightforward method of replacing the default menu. With the existence of Configurable menu I thought there might be other standalone menus out there or perhaps some sort of dock with a built in menu. I was just trying to learn about the option, but my real issue is that I asked the wrong question. I will start another thread, thanks.
post #4 of 7
always lots of options just finding ones that work well together is a hassle smile.gif some people use a DE and switch the windows manager, so to have like a tiling window manager but the menu of Xfce. It looks like a good option
Black & Green
(12 items)
 
Dev Box
(7 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Core2 Duo E7400 Asus P5Q Hyper-X  Sandisk 
OSPower
Fedora 22 Thermaltake 650W 
  hide details  
Reply
Black & Green
(12 items)
 
Dev Box
(7 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
Core2 Duo E7400 Asus P5Q Hyper-X  Sandisk 
OSPower
Fedora 22 Thermaltake 650W 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
What luck! I had been waiting for LXLE and Peppermint OS to be released, and I wasn't disappointed! The new Peppermint 7 has LXDE with the XFCE Whisker menu! Now I just need to go over to their forums and ask how they did it. I will probably install Peppermint OS on a spare computer today.
post #6 of 7
Probably by doing a minimal install of LXDE (apt-get install [insert-program-here] --no-install-recommends in Ubuntu/derivatives, I believe) then installing xfce4-panel and xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin. I do something similar on systems where I just want bare Openbox, but might need a proper Taskbar etc. smile.gif
Aoi
(20 items)
 
Midori
(14 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 920 D0 Gigabyte G1.Killer Guerilla GTX670 4GB SLI 24GB Corsair Vengeance 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
WD Velociraptor Samsung F1 Blu-ray XL Corsair H70 
OSMonitorMonitorMonitor
Windows 7 Professional x64 Dell 2405FPW Dell U2410 Dell 2405FPW 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell U2311H Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Silverstone Strider 1kw Corsair 700D 
MouseMouse PadAudioOther
Logitech G500 Ozone XL Integrated Logitech G13 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5 3570K Asus P8Z77-M Pro nVidia GTX680 Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSOS
WD Velociraptor 600GB Samsung DVD+RW Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Ubuntu Server Customised 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Triple Dell U2412M Sidewinder X6 Corsair TX750 Fractal Design R4 
Mouse
Logitech G700 
  hide details  
Reply
Aoi
(20 items)
 
Midori
(14 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 920 D0 Gigabyte G1.Killer Guerilla GTX670 4GB SLI 24GB Corsair Vengeance 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
WD Velociraptor Samsung F1 Blu-ray XL Corsair H70 
OSMonitorMonitorMonitor
Windows 7 Professional x64 Dell 2405FPW Dell U2410 Dell 2405FPW 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell U2311H Microsoft Sidewinder X4 Silverstone Strider 1kw Corsair 700D 
MouseMouse PadAudioOther
Logitech G500 Ozone XL Integrated Logitech G13 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i5 3570K Asus P8Z77-M Pro nVidia GTX680 Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSOS
WD Velociraptor 600GB Samsung DVD+RW Windows 7 Home Premium x64 Ubuntu Server Customised 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Triple Dell U2412M Sidewinder X6 Corsair TX750 Fractal Design R4 
Mouse
Logitech G700 
  hide details  
Reply
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Yeah I just read they switched out the whole panel. It looks pretty interesting other than the horrific 'pre-school' colors to the icon theme. I figured I would end up on either LXLE or Peppermint anyway, so I'm glad they took ideas from the community and tried something new.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Linux, Unix
Overclock.net › Forums › Software, Programming and Coding › Operating Systems › Linux, Unix › Changing default menu in any desktop environment