This is a problem with Unity 2D on 12.04. More advanced 3D has no such issue.
Alt+F1 accesses the launcher menu, with arrow keys to navigate the list (side menu).
Alt+F10 accesses the
top bar in an open application (or
Alt+an underlined menu item letter), which allows access to the global ubuntu settings in the top right (battery, wifi/networking, audio, time/calendar, user, power).
Alt+F10, when no application is open and you're just staring at the desktop, accesses those ubuntu settings immediately.
top menu bar does list, in the top left, menu commands for the desktop per se (create new folder, go home, help, start server, etc). These can be accessed only by mouse hovering and click. No way to get to them only by keyboard (arrow keys just cycle through the settings, don't jump over to the left side of the top bar).
Is there a keyboard shortcut way to access the desktop menu bar for manipulating icons on your desktop and other general things? Or is this a work in progress for unity?
If you use the
context menu key (or some equivalent you've set to generate that signal) along with other shortcuts for working on the desktop, you can cover most of the functionality of the
top menu bar. However, I don't want to memorize those keys to become proficient. I just want a way to open and browse through those menu items (and they aren't ALL available through hotkeys anyway).