Ubuntu – Can auto-hide for the application menu be turned off in Unity

appmenuautohidemenu barpanelunity

Will there be a way to disable auto-hide behavior of global application menu in Unity. While I would prefer to have this behavior disabled by default (as it is bad UX), it looks like it's here to stay, so I'm wondering if, as a user, I will be able to turn it off.

Best Answer

  • 16.04 and later (unity 7)

    In addition to the gsettings menu option introduced in 15.04, this has been added to Settings - Appearance:

    enter image description here

    15.04, 15.10 & 14.04

    15.04 now has the ability to toggle the global menu as well as the local integrated menus (Via System Settings - Appearance - Behaviour tab) to be permanently on or off.

    If you are running a fully up-to-date version of 14.04, this same ability has been backported.

    To switch on permanently:

    gsettings set com.canonical.Unity always-show-menus true

    To switch off i.e. to autohide:

    gsettings set com.canonical.Unity always-show-menus false

    12.10 through to 13.10 + 14.10

    There is an implementation report which has some speculative suggestions as to the global menu including the ability to have the ability to always turn-on the global menu.

    Unfortunately for these versions of Ubuntu the auto-hide ability was not implemented


    The global menu cannot be prevented from autohiding using the standard Unity install.

    Unlike previous versions of Unity where opening an application never showed the global menu, in 12.04, the global menu appears for two seconds after an application has been launched before fading.

    ... you can also delay the autohiding of the global menu for up-to 10 seconds

    gconftool-2 -t int -s /apps/compiz-1/plugins/unityshell/screen0/options/menus_discovery_duration 10

    third-party solutions

    Recently ubuntu-forums published a solution to always display the global-menu (i.e. it never hides).

    This solution involves adding a custom version of Unity to your installation. Thus - you are dependent on the PPA maintainer for future Unity releases etc. Whether this dog eats your cat - I'll leave for you to monitor the ubuntuforums thread. I will not vouch for its veracity or stability.