It seems that HUD (Heads Up Display) is tightly tied to Unity. However I just use xmonad as a window manager, especially I don't use unity.

Is there a way to use HUD within xmonad (or more generally withing other window managers and desktop environments)? If so, what are the detailed steps to do it with minimal dependencies on unity?

Are there alternative projects which similar functionality like HUD which work together with many window managers without too much pain?

  • The thing that makes HUD work is that Unity already has all the menus centrally. For any other WM, you would need a way to inform it about menus, which is not really a job of the VM. Jul 20, 2012 at 11:23
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    Really would like this too. Please share if you find a solution. Oct 17, 2012 at 15:24
  • Yeah, I will post it if I find something. I really want to have it. But at the moment I don't have the time to think about it :-(
    – student
    Oct 17, 2012 at 15:25
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    Would this be of use: askubuntu.com/a/515365/421237? Dmenu should be usable with xmonad and other window managers. Oct 2, 2015 at 0:53
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    @crimsonspectre I am using dmenu already but I cannot acces menus of applications like gimp or libreoffice via dmenu, but HUD can do this. The ability to access menus of applications via keyboard in a unified way is the killer feature why I want something like HUD for xmonad.
    – student
    Jan 23, 2016 at 14:42

1 Answer 1


The problem is your Desktop Environment i.e. Unity, is a plugin of the Window Manager Compiz. Similarly GNOME 3 is a plugin of Mutter.

So thing is that, the menus of your Window Manager are tightly coupled to the Dash of the Desktop Environment, which can be only done via a plugin.

If there were a Unity plugin for Mutter or Kwin or other Window managers, then they could be used too instead of Compiz

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