How-To Geek

How to Install the Classic Gnome Menu in Unity in Ubuntu 11.10


If you like the Unity desktop, but you’re used to the classic Gnome menu, there’s a way to install the Classic Gnome Menu on the top panel on the Unity desktop, allowing you to experience the best of both worlds.

We’ve shown you how to add the Classic Gnome Desktop to the logon screen, allowing you to login to a Gnome desktop with no Unity features. However, if you want to use both the Unity desktop and the classic Gnome menu, you can install a tool called Classic Menu Indicator.

First, we need to add the repository containing the Classic Menu Indicator program. To do this, press Ctrl + Alt + T to open a Terminal window. Type the following at the prompt and press Enter.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:diesch/testing

NOTE: You can also copy and paste the command at the prompt. To paste text at the prompt, right-click on the Terminal window and select Paste from the popup menu.

Enter your password when prompted.


A message displays telling you which PPA (Personal Package Archive) you are about to add to your system. Press Enter to continue adding the PPA.


Once the repository has been added, you must update it. Type the following command at the prompt and press Enter, or copy and paste it into the Terminal window.

sudo apt-get update

This command actually updates all the repositories in your system.


Now, you can install Classic Menu Indicator. Type the following command at the prompt and press Enter, or copy and paste it into the Terminal window.

sudo apt-get install classicmenu-indicator


When the installation is finished, type “exit” (without the quotes) at the prompt and press Enter to close the Terminal window.


To apply the changes, you must log out of your session and log back in. To log out, select Log Out from the power menu in the upper, right corner of your screen on the top panel.


A confirmation Log Out dialog box displays. Click Log Out to continue logging out.


Once you have logged back in, the classic Gnome menu displays with the Ubuntu logo icon on the top panel to the left of the icons on the right side. If you decide you don’t want the menu, you can close it by selecting ClassicMenu Indicator | Quit from the Gnome menu.


You can easily show the classic Gnome menu again. To do so, click the Dash home button on the Unity launcher.


Start entering “classicmenu indicator” (without the quotes) in the search box. You do not need to press Enter. The results of your search display as you type, as illustrated in the image below. Click the ClassicMenu Indicator icon that displays.

Now, you can easily turn on the classic Gnome menu when you have trouble finding something using the Unity interface. It’s just as easy to turn if off again.

Lori Kaufman is a writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.

  • Published 02/20/12

Comments (9)

  1. Janey B.Smith

    Thanks for the info, I’ve been interested in this for quite some time, and it’s great I found your blog

  2. Jenita

    Great!! its really informative and helpful.

  3. kenedy12345

    Good to know about the How to Install the Classic Gnome Menu in Unity in Ubuntu 11.10

  4. lonk

    Thank you! Finaly a normal menu to use!!! :) I think they are to give user the choice with installation!

  5. sooopy

    niiice. veddy nice. can i apply this to 11.04??

  6. MacWomble

    Good work !

    Would be great to get also the full classic menu ‘Applications – Places – System’ (instead of the indicator)

  7. MacWomble

    ;-) would also be a great app for Cinnamon-Desktop …

  8. Cassiano

    Cara, demais! Tava precisando disso.



  9. N3lson

    Great work, just added it to 12.04LTS beta, working great.

    It’s kinda ridiculous Canonical dropped these menus completely, as it saved a whole 37kb!

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