Will there be a way to disable auto-hide behavior of global application menu in Unity. While I would prefer to have this behavior disabled by default (as it is bad UX), it looks like it's here to stay, so I'm wondering if, as a user, I will be able to turn it off.
16.04 and later (unity 7)
In addition to the gsettings menu option introduced in 15.04, this has been added to Settings - Appearance:
15.04, 15.10 & 14.04
15.04 now has the ability to toggle the global menu as well as the local integrated menus (Via System Settings - Appearance - Behaviour tab) to be permanently on or off.
If you are running a fully up-to-date version of 14.04, this same ability has been backported.
To switch on permanently:
gsettings set com.canonical.Unity always-show-menus true
To switch off i.e. to autohide:
gsettings set com.canonical.Unity always-show-menus false
12.10 through to 13.10 + 14.10
There is an implementation report which has some speculative suggestions as to the global menu including the ability to have the ability to always turn-on the global menu.
Unfortunately for these versions of Ubuntu the auto-hide ability was not implemented
The global menu cannot be prevented from autohiding using the standard Unity install.
Unlike previous versions of Unity where opening an application never showed the global menu, in 12.04, the global menu appears for two seconds after an application has been launched before fading.
... you can also delay the autohiding of the global menu for up-to 10 seconds
gconftool-2 -t int -s /apps/compiz-1/plugins/unityshell/screen0/options/menus_discovery_duration 10
Recently ubuntu-forums published a solution to always display the global-menu (i.e. it never hides).
This solution involves adding a custom version of Unity to your installation. Thus - you are dependent on the PPA maintainer for future Unity releases etc. Whether this dog eats your cat - I'll leave for you to monitor the ubuntuforums thread. I will not vouch for its veracity or stability.
[according to this post the 'Menu always visible' option is gone from the unity-revamped ppa]
Now it's possible. The Unity Revamped PPA which provides Unity with two patches: Dodge Windows and minimize/unmaximize on click for the Unity launcher, has been updated yesterday with some fixes which aren't yet available for the Unity package from the official Ubuntu 12.04 repositories as well as a new patch that brings a much requested feature: an option to disable the application menu (global menu) autohide behaviour.
The option that lets you disable menu autohide in Unity was supposed to be included by default in System Settings for Ubuntu 12.04, but it didn't make it for some reason. Hopefully, this option will make it into Ubuntu 12.10 by default, but until then, you can use the PPA below to get an option to disable the application menu autohide behaviour.:
To upgrade to the latest patched Unity from the Unity Revamped PPA in Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin, use the following commands:
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ikarosdev/unity-revamped
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
Once the packages have been successfully upgraded, log out and log back in.
To get the menu to always be visible, you'll need to install CompizConfig Settings Manager:
sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager
Then open CompizConfig Settings Manager (CCSM), select "Ubuntu Unity Plugin" and on the "Experimental" tab, check the box next to "Menu Always Visible" (it's not checked by default).
The is suggested in the following bug. As a user you can vote for it.