Simple problem:

I have a fresh xubuntu installation (16.04.1) on a very old notebook.
Everything works fine now, but I'd like to toggle the "start menu". (I don't know what it's called in linux sorry :c)

I found several solutions telling me to use shortcuts, tl;dr binding xfce4-popup-applicationsmenu to Super+L works well to open the menu.

The problem is, as you may guessed because of my totally not obvious formatting, that I can't close this menu by pressing the same button again.
I remember being able to do so on another (older) Xubuntu installation I had some time ago, not sure though.

  • I can't find an easy way to do this. The binary that opens the menu doesn't support toggling at all.
    – Seth
    Commented Dec 23, 2016 at 20:10
  • You want to use the whisker menu or the traditional xfce menu?
    – xangua
    Commented Dec 23, 2016 at 20:14
  • The traditional xcfe menu...
    – RoiEX
    Commented Dec 23, 2016 at 20:18

2 Answers 2


Go to the Application Shortcuts tab in the keyboard settings, create a new shortcut and copy the command that is triggered by Ctrl+Esc (the default shortcut for the Whisker Menu).

As of Xubuntu 16.04, the command you have to enter is xfce4-popup-whiskermenu:

screenshot of keyboard settings on Xubuntu 16.04

  • Thank you man, been searching this for more than a minute since installing Xubuntu Desktop.
    – Player1
    Commented May 10, 2020 at 0:37
  • 4
    Please note that using Super as a standalone shortcut together with Super+? combinations will cause combos to trigger two things, so for instance Super+F will open the file manager and the menu will toggle. Very clunky.
    – Rafał G.
    Commented Nov 30, 2020 at 20:24

Recent Xubuntu releases use Whisker Menu by default, which is a more capable menu than the Applications Menu, and is what most people use nowadays, so I will describe the way to open this menu, with the deafult settings, by pressing the Super key. This method doesn't conflict with other shortcuts, as @Rafal G. mentions in their comment, and is the way other distributions, e.g. Manjaro, use the Super key to open the menu.

What you have to do is bind the default shortcut that opens the Whisker Menu (Ctrl+Esc) to the Super key with xcape and have it run at startup. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Install xcape:

    sudo apt install xcape
  2. Open Session and Startup and go to the Application Autostart tab.

  3. Press the + button to the lower left of the window to add a new application.

    Session and Startup

  4. In the Edit application window that opens, add the Name and Description (optional) that you prefer and the following Command, with Trigger set on login (also see screenshot):

    xcape -e 'Super_L=Control_L|Escape'

    Edit application

  5. Click OK.

  6. Log out and log in again.

You should now be able to open Whisker Menu by pressing the Super key.

Note: If you use a shortcut other than Ctrl+Esc to open your menu (it doesn't necessarily have to be the Whisker Menu), just adjust the command in step 4 to use the proper shortcut.

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