After sudo apt-get install awesome awesome-extra and logging into it (with no previous configuration that I know of), there's no menu entry for Firefox. All my other stuff is there - Mutt, Meld, jEdit, BOINC, etc., only Firefox is missing. I have no ~/.config/awesome/ directory, so there should be no override in place.


Try the menubar instead. It's mapped to modkey + p in the default config, and appears to be built using .desktop files:

local menubar = require("menubar")
awful.key({ modkey }, "p", function() menubar.show() end)

By default on Ubuntu, when you install Awesome, you'll get some menu items coming from the Debian menu system. This is because the default rc.lua has near the top: require("debian.menu") and then later in rc.lua, under the code laying out the menu, you'll see:

mymainmenu = awful.menu({ items = {  [stuff snipped]
                                    { "Debian", debian.menu.Debian_menu.Debian },
                                     [stuff snipped]

This means your browser(s) will be located at: "Debian" --> "Applications" --> "Network" --> "Web Browsing". Some apps, however, may not install a Debian menu item. Firefox, for example, seems to no longer have one.

Having said all that, I think it's preferable to just set up your own menus, because the Debian menu will have all kinds of stuff from different desktop environments you've installed. The Debian menu system is also considered rather outdated, even by the Debian developers. Here's a a quick read of the basics of how to set up menus in Awesome. If you want to see how I set up my menus, you can take a look at my rc.lua linked in my profile.

  • I have very different menu items: DebianNetworking doesn't exist; the closest is DebianApplicationsNetwork. And there's no Web browsing entry there - I've got Communication, File Transfer and Monitoring, but none of these contain Firefox (default browser), Chromium (also installed), sensible-browser or in fact, anything at all which looks like a browser shortcut. Running sensible-browser in a shell does start up Firefox, though. – l0b0 Sep 2 '12 at 13:53
  • I must have been distracted when I typed that... sorry! I do have the same structure, but under "Network" I have "Web Browsing", which lists several browsers but strangely not Firefox (which I have installed). – Chan-Ho Suh Sep 2 '12 at 14:19
  • Looks like some apps like Firefox no longer bother with a Debian menu entry: ubuntuforums.org/archive/index.php/t-1999752.html – Chan-Ho Suh Sep 2 '12 at 14:26
  • I'm also unsure whether there was ever an item for sensible-browser in the original Debian menu. In any case, the issue is how to get items onto the Debian menu; it is not an Awesome issue. – Chan-Ho Suh Sep 2 '12 at 14:58

I'm a little late on the reply here - but I found this question while having the same problem and thought I'd put my fix here for anyone else:

If you copy your /etc/xdg/awesome file to ~/.config/awesome then look in the debian directory, there is a menu.lua there.

Open the file and find

Debian_menu["Debian_Applications_Network"] = {
-- whatever elements are already there

and add the element

{ "Web Browsing", Debian_menu["Debian_Applications_Network_Web_Browsing"] },

to that list.

Then you can find where Debian_menu["Debian_Applications_Network_File_Transfer"] menu is and add another menu after it (so it's easy to find later)

Debian_menu["Debian_Applications_Network_Web_Browsing"] = {
{"Firefox", "/usr/bin/firefox"},

Then quit awesome and log back in and you should have Firefox in your menu.

NOTE: I put /usr/bin/firefox as that is where my executable for firefox is - to find where yours is type which firefox in the command line.

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