I am used to having the global menubar (i.e. app menus are not shown in the app window but in the top panel).
In Kubuntu 12.04 this worked very well, however upon installing Kubuntu 14.04 the menubar only works for kde applications and a few other apps like Firefox and Chromium.
Is there a way to enable the global menubar also for gtk apps?
Since Ubuntu uses the global menubar by default it should be possible right?


Update: As @stsloth mentioned, thanks to the tireless work of kde devs this now again works (since Plasma 5.9)

Short story: it doesn't work and there is no fix.

Warning: The following is my interpretation of the events. I might be wrong, but I've spent a lot of time googling and there seems to be almost no information. And I am definitely frustrated with what I could find...

Long Story: It is very hard to find much details on the net. From what I understand, when the ubuntu folk wanted to take menubars out of the applications they did the right thing: they sat down, talked to people and wrote a spec for exporting menus over dbus --- the dbusmenu. Then they implemented a gtk patch and paid a guy to implement a kde solution. The kde solution was accepted upstream but the gtk one remained as a downstream patch. I assume it was because the GNOME folk just weren't interested in global menubars, but I couldn't find any info on this.

Some time later, the GNOME folk suddenly decided that they wanted their applications to better blend with MAC OS, which has a global menu bar too. (<rant>yay for compatibility with a closed source os and ignoring compatibility with an open source os</rant>). But instead of working with everyone else, they decided to go their own route and invent a new way to export menus over dbus. This of course broke the menubar integration of gtk apps in KDE. But not only this, they also declared the dbus protocol an implementation detail thus making it impossible for the kde folk to support it. Moreover, they weren't interested in any discussion at all. A bug was filed in their bugzilla [1]. This bug was closed as WONTFIX and the reporter was directed to the gtk-devel-list. The message [2] posted there got no response. And from reading the comments on the bugreport I got the idea that the GNOME folk are not interested in compatibility with other DE's at all.

Oh, and, btw, the CANONICAL folk, who everyone loves to hate for inventing their own stuff, are trying to fix this by working on a qt solution (qmenumodel)... When that will be available for kde, though, is not clear. Probably not for Trusty (as kde 4.12 is feature frozen and no new releases are planned in the kde 4.* series).


  1. https://bugzilla.gnome.org/show_bug.cgi?id=711504
  2. https://mail.gnome.org/archives/gtk-devel-list/2013-November/msg00006.html

You can set it by following command in terminal:

gsettings set com.canonical.Unity integrated-menus false
  • Hmm,that command gives me a "No such schema 'com.canonical.Unity'". After installing the libunity-core package, the schema is found, however setting the integrated-menus key to false (or true) has no effect :-( – jonathanverner Jul 24 '14 at 11:20
  • @jonathanverner Try to found such schema by gsettings list-recursively | grep integrated-menus ? (may be kde instead of unity) post output! – Pandya Jul 24 '14 at 13:05
  • The output of gsettings list-recursively | grep integrated-menus is com.canonical.Unity integrated-menus false As I said above, I think that installing the libunity-core package also installed the schema. – jonathanverner Jul 24 '14 at 14:32

According to this topic on ubuntuforums.org, appmenu can be enabled on GTK2 applications by installing the unofficially patched GTK2 libraries from PPA. sudo apt-add-repository ppa:joe-yasi/appmenu sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade sudo apt-get install appmenu-gtk

Unfortunately, there is no working fix for GTK3.

  • Tried that, but for some reason it doesn't work for me. Will report back if I manage to fix it... – jonathanverner Apr 14 '15 at 10:03

While this is not about Kubuntu 14.04, it might still be useful for the future readers.

Plasma officially supports GTK applications for the global menu since Plasma 5.14 released in October 2018 (search for "global menu" in the announcement).

Full details in the developer blog.

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