It’s perhaps the most consistent – and, honestly, the most appropriate – criticism leveled at Ubuntu’s Unity: not only is the traditional menu structure basically gone, there’s also no setting that can bring it back.
No official setting, anyway. We’ve shown you how to re-add functionality to Ubuntu’s tray using indicator applets; today we teach you another: bringing back the traditional menu. The screenshot at right basically says it all – it’s your software the way you’re used to finding it.
A Traditional Menu
Does this look familiar?
If you’re a Wine user, you’ll be happy to note that the Wine menu is also intact. This gives you access to the entire virtual “Start Menu”, allowing you to really make use of your Windows software in Ubuntu.
Installing ClassicMenu Indicator.
Are you ready to install this? It’s developed for Ubuntu 12.04 and tested with Ubuntu 11.10. Ubuntu 11.04 isn’t supported.
You can head to the ClassicMenu Indicator page on Florian Disch’s website for a .deb file, or you can add his PPA and install the program with the following commands:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install classicmenu-indicator
Disch warns on his website that this is beta software, and may not be stable: “ClassicMenu Indicator is beta software. It works for me and a lot of other users but may still have some bugs,” he says. I’d like to add that the software was very stable for me while testing as well.
I started using Linux in 2005, and remember the menu structure being one of the features that impressed me most. Coming from Windows, I was used to a menu arranged in folders named for the company making the software instead, which is far from ideal. Seeing things sorted into categories like Office, Games and Media was a big step forward.
Ubuntu’s Unity seems to be ditching this structure for search. Sure: there are ways you can bring the categories up, but it’s a far cry from the original menu.
So I’m glad I found a way to browse programs quickly. Are you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I’ll be around for the discussion.