I am running Ubuntu 16.04 and Emacs 25.1.2, which I installed from here:


According to:

Emacs toolbar icons missing in Ubuntu-16.10, struggle to compile emacs24 and 25

the kellyk build should resolve the empty menu problem, but I still get some empty menus, for example when I open a .tex file, the Latex menu is just a grey rectangle if I click on the menu. The menu only becomes populated when I hit F10, but I was wondering if anyone knows how to fix it so that I can click on it.


Rough answer:

I assume that you are using Unity. I haven't tested this, but I think that

gsettings set com.canonical.unity-gtk-module blacklist "['emacs25']"

should partially solve the issue — your compiled emacs will no longer use the Global Menu, but its own menu, which should be better-behaved. If needed, you can have a longer list of elements in the blacklist — e.g. "['emacs25', 'emacs26']". Restart Emacs after executing the above command!

(Possibly first run:

gsettings get com.canonical.unity-gtk-module blacklist

to ensure that the list is empty to begin with, and you're not clobbering anything.)

Brief explanation:

emacs24 from the default repositories has a hardcoded blacklist, but this does not carry over to emacs25.

Note: you might need to use the utility xprop (e.g. with xprop WM_CLASS — you need the first of the displayed strings) to determine the "WM_CLASS" of your emacs window and use that instead of emacs25.

  • I tried this, still doesn't work. – bkmoney May 17 '17 at 2:14
  • @bkmoney Did you restart emacs after doing this? Just checking :) – NeilenMarais Jun 6 '17 at 9:20
  • 1
    This problem still exists in 17.10. @aplaice's answer works as described after restarting emacs. – Reece Jan 1 '18 at 21:06

Adding this to ~/.emacs.d/init.el worked for me on Emacs 28.0.50 / Ubuntu 18.04:

(menu-bar-mode -1)
(menu-bar-mode 1)

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