I am using Ubuntu 16.04, with Gnome 3.18. Using extensions I have gotten rid of the dash panel and only use the Applications Menu in the upper left-hand corner of the screen. (I don't have Unity.) What I can't figure out is how do you add a new program, move software around to different categories, and create new categories?

Also, any keyboard shortcut to access the Applications Menu?

  • Try running gmenu-simple-editor (from terminal) to edit the menus. Don't know about keyboard shortcuts in Gnome 3, but maybe try Alt + F1 ? Jun 27, 2016 at 19:42
  • That must have been added by an extension. You might have to change the source of that.
    – muru
    Jun 27, 2016 at 20:27
  • 3
    I don't have gmenu-simple-editor. It's not in the software pkgs and I can't seem to locate anything about it online.
    – Lee
    Jun 27, 2016 at 20:35
  • @muru I'm not sure of another source. I don't want to have the Activities Menu". Surely, there must be a way to edit this menu.
    – Lee
    Jun 28, 2016 at 16:36
  • @Lee can you post a screenshot? GNOME 3 (or, rather, GNOME Shell) doesn't have menus by default. This is how it looks: askubuntu.com/a/617189/158442 (+ a few extensions). There are extensions to add the old-school menus, which is why I think you have one of those.
    – muru
    Jun 28, 2016 at 16:39

4 Answers 4


You can use Menu Editor (menulibre)

With Menu Editor, you can easily add, remove, and rearrange launchers, directories, and separators. Powered by Python 3 and Gtk 3, it is the complete toolbox for editing menus in Linux. It was developed to support every popular Gtk desktop environment, and has been verified to support Cinnamon, GNOME, LXDE, MATE, Unity, and XFCE.

It is already in the official Ubuntu repositories,
and you can install it by opening a terminal with Ctrl+Alt+T and typing:

sudo apt install menulibre

or if you prefer a GUI way, click Menu Editor Install MenuLibre to auto-open Software Center
and click Install to install it.

After installation you can find it under All Settings Gnome, Xfce, and Unity settings integration Gnome, Xfce, and Unity settings integration. The above image is from XFCE.

Frequently Asked Questions
MenuLibre does not start. It displays “MenuLibre cannot be run as root.”

  • Thanks. I have previously tried another menu editor but it didn't work too well. I just tried this and it "seems" to work a bit better. I'll let you know what happens.
    – Lee
    Aug 14, 2016 at 17:23
  • 1
    Does not seem to allow editing the 'Favorites' menu. Sad!
    – Francois
    Jan 17, 2017 at 20:38
  • somebody please fix the URL to bluesabre.org/projects/menulibre. I can't because "Edits must be at least 6 characters"
    – devio
    Feb 14, 2023 at 7:58
  • @devio done and thanks. Feb 19, 2023 at 14:30

I have found that installing alacarte gave me the ability to edit the shortcuts in the menu. You can also add custom applications and even change the icon. Here is what it looks like:

To install:

sudo apt-get install alacarte 
  • Thanks. Yes, I have tried it. But the menu items can't be dragged 'n dropped. Everything has to be copied and re-entered manually. I just have to deal with it, I guess. BTW, I have switched to 14.04 as 16.04 had too many problems for me (probably due to my using an older computer).
    – Lee
    Mar 12, 2017 at 22:21
  • I went back and re-installed Menu Editor (menulibre). It works great in that the menu items can be easily rearranged.
    – Lee
    Mar 12, 2017 at 22:33
  • Also work with Gnome3 in GNU/Linux Debian Stretch
    – Sarit
    Sep 30, 2017 at 8:24
  • FYI menulibre (see other answer above) seems to be more modern than alacarte (e.g. allows choosing icons from ~/.local/share/icons and not just files)
    – vorburger
    Jan 17, 2019 at 15:16
  • I am using alacarte since many many years, and it is working great with latest fedora distributions too. Sep 20, 2019 at 10:47

I believe this is exactly the same setup as what your talking about. As of now, I haven't found any gui tool to edit this menu on this specific build... Although there was a tool I have used in the past with an older build.

For that, I used gnome shell extensions called 'applications menu' and disabled hot corner.. (i can still use windows key to get to default menu).. for this extension, there are no configuration settings.

Despite my background, I have: Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS / GNOME Shell 3.18.5


:2023 Update:

Google brought me here for a similar situation in a Pop!_OS 22.04 Gnome / Cosmic Desktop. I wanted to rename the entry 'Library Home' in the 'Show Applications menu item to something more intuitive for me.

Installing packages 'menulibre' / ' alacarte' did not reveal any entry called 'Library Home'

Dropped to a terminal and;

cd /usr
grep -rn 'Library Home' *

This revealed file

'/usr/share/gnome-shell/extensions/[email protected]/applications.js' 

with 'Library Home' at line 211. Changed 'Library Home' to 'App Home' and saved / rebooted the machine.


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