Disabling Ubuntu Unity’s Global Menu Bar

It’s goodbye Windoze, hello Linux.

Well, nearly. I have now started using Ubuntu in anger for commercial development, and have started to find going back to Windows 7 on my home machine relatively painful.

However, there are a couple of things in Ubuntu Unity that I can’t get on with. The main one is the Global Menu Bar; that is, the menu for an application appearing only in the top title bar for the desktop, rather than at the top of the application’s window.

Solutions to this problem are described elsewhere on the web, but instructions vary. I wanted to make as minor a change as possible.

I suppose this feature saves a little screen space, so I’ve given the thing a couple of weeks to get used to.  But I haven’t.

For me, the simplest solution was, as superuser (sudo su), to create a file


containing just the line



That appears to fix things for all but a few particular applications; presumably ones with some alternative Unity integration mechanism. The only ones I found were Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla Thunderbird. For each of these, it was just a case of disabling an add-on:

Global Menu Bar integration


These instructions might not be your preferred method. Please also take a look at the instructions given on lifehacker, web upd8 and how-to geek.



2 Responses to “Disabling Ubuntu Unity’s Global Menu Bar”

  1. Karl Burbage Says:

    To be honest, I still prefer the Microsoft Windows interface. Context clicking is feature rich out-of-the-box; which I prefer. Also, …

  2. Feamarto Says:

    Works like a charm, and indeed simple and non-destructive. Just what I was looking for. Really did not like all the apt-get based solutions. Too intrusive. And as for Firefox, I use it maximised most of the times so menu bar integration is good and saves space 🙂

    BTW Would be nice to see the integration on maximised windows always and on unmaximised never 🙂

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