Friday, October 26, 2012

Kubuntu 12.10 No Menubars in GTK?

Today, when I launched Audacity on my Kubuntu 12.10, I was greeted with a window with no menubar for File, Edit, etc. It reminded me of how there are no longer menubars in a lot of Windows apps.

No menu bars... where'd they go?
I thought about it a bit, trying to figure out why this happened. The conclusion I came to was that this must be the result of some change in Ubuntu 12.10 related to Unity...

Image from: http://lh5.ggpht.com/_1QSDkzYY2vc/TG2xHSwOo7I/AAAAAAAABt4/LAODgOgafAM/unity3.png
Notice how Ubuntu integrates the menu bars from GTK applications into Unity?
In Ubuntu, apparently, in order to make menu bars show up in Unity instead of the application's window, they export the menus through DBus. This makes sense for Ubuntu, I guess; it's part of the reason why I never really liked the whole Unity thing.

However, the menus don't show up anywhere obvious in KDE:
After a quick Google search, I found one possible solution. There is now a KDE widget that does the same thing as Unity's menu-bar-stealing-system.

Huh, this is new...
Well, my menus are there... but YUCK!
Surely there must be a better way... thankfully, the fix is extremely easy.


How To Fix It

Simply uninstall appmenu-gtk and appmenu-gtk3. Restart your apps, and your menus will be back!

sudo apt-get remove appmenu-gtk appmenu-gtk3



If I had to guess, GTK apps must install these packages by default since that's what they'd need in Ubuntu. However, these packages are just dumb for KDE users. Thankfully, the fix is very easy.

I hope this is a bug and not a feature. If Ubuntu starts to deviate so much to make Unity run, I hope Kubuntu/Xubuntu won't suffer. If they do, Ubuntu will lose even more users than it already has. Not that there aren't good alternatives, Mint Debian is continually getting better. And Fedora's not bad, I just like the Advanced Packaging Tool (APT) much better than any alternatives.
Unity has had this feature for longer than just 12.10 though. Anyone know why this suddenly became a problem in 12.10?

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