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GnoMenu: Eye Candy Applications Menu for your Gnome Desktop


[Click to Enlarge]

Wallpaper switchers, new themes, GDMs and GnoMenu all have one purpose – they bring fresh and new looks to our Gnome Desktops.

GnoMenu is a highly customizable, theme-driven Applications Menu for your Gnome desktop. The XML theme engine supports very attractive themes with transparency, even on non composited desktops.

Just as you can adjust the number of items in the “Recent items list” you can also resize theme icons. By default GnoMenu catches the keyboard Super L Windows key. It uses for local file and directory search the Gnome “Tracker Search Tool”, if you have it installed (sudo apt-get install tracker-search-tool).

After installing GnoMenu, add-it to one of your panels. Right-click on the panel of your choice, Add to Panel -> GnoMenu -> Add. GnoMenu’s behaviour also depends on which panel you place it on. A right-click on the GnoMenu icon opens up a menu, with GnoMenu “Preferences” and “Edit Menus” items. Click on “Preferences” to get to GnoMenu settings where you can install/uninstall themes and modify built-in commands.

GnoMenu needs the following dependencies; python | python-xdg | python-cairo | python-gconf python-xlib | deskbar-applet – – for a full and correct functioning.
I ended up installing only the “desktop-applet”, the others were already present on my Ubuntu 9.04 system.

Many of the themes bundled up in GnoMenu make it look like the Windows XP and Vista menu and I’m damn sure you’re allergic to Windows look-alikes. No big deal, in-built Avio theme and a few others do it differently. (A point of correction: Maybe it’s better to say GnoMenu’s in-built themes are more like the KDE Applications Menu than XP or Vista )

If you’ve found other non window-like themes, let us know. If you’ve built or modified one for the community, better still. In the mean time you can download other themes like the Ghost theme from Gnome-Look.org
[Screenshot below: Transparent Black and White Ghost theme]

Python built GnoMenu is released under the GNU/GPL License.

Download GnoMenu – – Ubuntu: for easy install, get the deb package

[Update 1 ] Shaun Marolf of the GnoMenu project says the GnoMenu was originally conceived to emulate Windows Menu systems, that’s the reason why it has many Windows looking skins. But right now with code enhancements, it emulates even the KDE’s kickoff menu. Whilst waiting for feature-packed GnoMenu 2.0, he also suggests the unique (one of its kind) Tux Menu theme

[Update 2 ] GnoMenu Now Available in Launchpad Repositories. Its now easy to install.


  1. DFS
    12:05 am on June 17th, 2009


    4:03 am on June 17th, 2009


    4:08 am on June 17th, 2009


  4. Marcio Andrey Oliveira
    2:58 pm on June 17th, 2009

    It is amazing. I’m going to give it a try.

  5. Martin Kaba
    3:02 pm on June 17th, 2009

    @ MARCIO ANDREY: Try it and let us know how you find it :-]

  6. Martin Kaba
    11:43 pm on June 17th, 2009

    @ SDFEXC: Yo dude, learn to read before commenting. Don’t take it so personal. I clearly wrote in the post;

    “Many of the themes bundled up in GnoMenu make it look like the Windows XP and Vista menu and I’m damn sure you’re allergic to Windows look-alikes. No big deal, in-built Avio theme and a few others do it differently.” like the Ghost theme that skins it a non-vista-like way.

    I’m no pro-Microsoft Vista or whatever…

  7. Shaun Marolf
    2:16 am on June 18th, 2009

    Hey thanks for the excellent write up on GnoMenu. Since I am involved in the project I appreciate the good word.

    People should also be aware of GnoMenu’s evolution and I have that in my blog here: http://linuxfreedom-technoshaun.blogspot.com/2009/01/evolution-of-gnu-project.html

    BTW I’m glad you like my Ghost Theme as well. That was an experiment but for a really unique GnoMenu Theme look at this one. Its another experiment and absolutely nothing like any other menu out there. http://www.gnome-look.org/content/show.php/Tux+Menu?content=105747

  8. Martin Kaba
    2:37 am on June 18th, 2009

    @ Shaun Marolf: Hey Shaun, thanks for passing by. Great project you have there. The base is just great, just one or two minor issues, but it needs better skining, someone is complaining about the vista looks :-), maybe more authentic skins like Ghost will be better appreciated. Kudos man

  9. Shaun Marolf
    5:37 am on June 18th, 2009

    We have just as much demand for Vista, XP and Win7 like looks as the others. GnoMenu 2 will offer many more features as well so even more design options will become available. I doubt we will ever lose the Windows look Alike themes but more theme skins are coming. GnoMenu is gaining in popularity and though there is a known issue with the gnome-panel we’re steadily growing in users and theme designers. Heck just getting our own section for GnoMenu themes at Gnome-Look was a huge compliment.

    Yes we need more themes that are non windows like but keep in mind as well, Gnomenu forked from a project that was writen originally to emulate the various Windows Menu systems. Helder added a lot of code enhancements and features that allowed us to escape from that look and even Emulate KDE’s Kickoff menu as well as others. GnoMenu is maturing and evolving rapidly and Helder is far from done. The blueprints for GnoMenu 2 are proof of that.


  10. Daniel
    2:15 am on June 22nd, 2009

    Good work! I might try later.

  11. Robert Ingraham
    5:34 am on September 1st, 2009

    Deb package would not install on Jaunty. All dependacies were satisfied, but the Package Installer reported “Unable to create ‘./etc/gnome/prefix’: No such file or directory”

  12. saurabh
    2:12 am on September 18th, 2009

    It would be best if the gnomenu can be added to the awn dock that way it would be the complete dock!

  13. yogieza
    1:14 am on March 11th, 2010

    good job Brother, i am using Gnomenu in may Ubuntu Jaunty now. Thanx for your articles 😀