A fresh installation on one of my machines and I decided to give Ubuntu’s Unity another try. And the first that jumped out at me was the more than annoying global menu bar on top of the screen. Apple might be everybody’s darling when it comes to UI design but they do not understand how this disrupts the workflow. Especially when you are using focus-follows-mouse, it is like playing roulette when you try to get to the correct menu.
But it seems quite easy to get rid of that annoying function by simply uninstalling some packages. And here is what I found you have to do:
apt-get remove appmenu-gtk appmenu-gtk3 appmenu-qt
Well, but that is not working for the Saucy Salamander (13.10). Why should it, it is new and shiny. So here is what you have to remove in addition:
apt-get remove appmenu-qt5 indicator-appmenu
And before I forget it. In the older Ubuntu versions you also have to disable the “Global Menu Bar integration” plugin in Firefox.
In pre-saucy Ubuntu versions you can also use a less invasive way of disabling the menu:
echo "export UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0" > /etc/X11/Xsession.d/81ubuntu-menu-proxy
Nonetheless there are some problems. Some programs, i.e. Rhythmbox, require the global menu. So I simply resorted to not using them. But if you rely on them and you don’t want to have a global menu, then you have a problem. But maybe this will be resolved with the new per-application configuration in 14.04.