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Thread: creating menus in unity

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  1. #1
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    creating menus in unity

    I just upgraded to 11.04 today and am a little bothered by the new unity system. Don't really like it but I understand why they're making the transition and I figure it'll be fine once I get it tweaked the way I want it, tweaking it is the big thing. I've read a number of different articles and posts here and while I've gotten things *mostly* the way I want there is one big thing that bothers me... lack of menus. For things I use all the time like firefox I'm fine with having the big icon right there (and I really like having that), for things I rarely use the "search applications" is fine as well. However there are some applications (mostly games) that I don't use often enough to want to have them clutter up the unity dock individually but I also don't want to have to "search" for them or click on a number of different catagories to get too (dock, applications, drop-down, catagory of application, application - that's way too many clicks). What I really want is a menu system where I can click on an icon in the unity dock and have it show up a list of different applications of that type and of course from there allow me to select the one I want. Been looking around and while I can find the old classic "main menu" option in the settings it doesn't affect unity in any way and the unity settings doesn't have any way of doing so. Found a few things that recommended creating custom desktop files but I'm lazy and went lots of effort getting the menus the way I wanted them in the old version and these settings would *mostly* work with only a little customisation so I'd prefer to do that. Any one know how to do this?
    Do not be afraid to joust a giant just because some people insist on believing in windmills.
    Free Moonbase Commander remake @ http://code.google.com/p/tether

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Smile Re: creating menus in unity

    I too am not to happy with Unity and its layout. Ever since I started using Ubuntu, I've always like the simplicity of pull down menus and launcher icons on the panel at the top. I'm kind of old school so it's hard for me to switch even though I too understand the direction Ubuntu is going, but if you still wish to use the classic desktop, simply logout and at the bottom of the screen there a pull-down menu that let's you select the classic Gnome desktop. Then if you like, open Login Screen under System Administration and change the default session to classic. Now every time you login, you'll have the good old Gnome Desktop.

  3. #3
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    Re: creating menus in unity

    I am aware of how to change back to the "classic" GUI however I don't really want to do that. I'd prefer to actually use unity but I want to customise it. Currently if I go to the unity dock I have to click on applications, then either search for what I want or click the dropdown to show a specific category. If I could just find a way to add icons to specific categories within the unity window I'd be content.
    Do not be afraid to joust a giant just because some people insist on believing in windmills.
    Free Moonbase Commander remake @ http://code.google.com/p/tether

  4. #4

    Re: creating menus in unity

    Atm you could in a limited way, slightly mentioned -
    You can create a .desktop, for instance games.desktop
    Then use quicklists to create entries for the r.click on launcher icon, each entry running a different game. *or anything

    You can't tree the quicklists but they can contain as many entries as you'd like (to a point

    The icon itself doesn't have to to anything or can run one app
    You can add anything (a command) to a quicklist (ex. I can have a gnome-terminal launcher, one of the quicklists could open vlc - not that I'd want to, just to show you can do whatever you want
    Last edited by mc4man; April 30th, 2011 at 01:55 AM.

  5. #5

    Re: creating menus in unity

    As an example of what you can do - just made this install so don't have many apps around yet, used 3 music players on hand
    Created a barebones .desktop in ~/.local/share/applications, added the 3 quicklist entries (blue), then added the .desktop to launcher and a log out/in to set.

    These can be considered menu launchers , (and only 2 clicks instead of the 3 in gnome-panel for those that are counting

    The icon (l. click), doesn't do anything atm because left the Exec= line blank, it could run a command (like the default you want for that group, available both from single l. click or the r.click > left click

    [Desktop Entry]
    Version=1.0
    Type=Application
    Terminal=false
    Exec=
    Name=Music apps
    Icon=/usr/share/icons/gnome/48x48/categories/applications-multimedia.png
    X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Audacious;Vlc;Totem;

    [Audacious Shortcut Group]
    Name=Audacious
    Exec=env UBUNTU_MENUPROXY=0 audacious
    TargetEnvironment=Unity

    [Vlc Shortcut Group]
    Name=Vlc
    Exec=/usr/bin/vlc
    TargetEnvironment=Unity

    [Totem Shortcut Group]
    Name=Totem
    Exec=totem
    TargetEnvironment=Unity

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by mc4man; May 4th, 2011 at 03:00 AM. Reason: a word

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Re: creating menus in unity

    I've tried this multiple times, and can't get a quick list to save my life. I've tried copying this exact code, and others like it -- no dice. Yet there are quick lists in, e.g., the LibreOffice launcher icons.

    Is anyone else having this sort of trouble??

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