Restoring old Mate menu

I just upgraded to 21.04, and the menu looks different now.
I got an error message on the first login regarding the menu applet, and it gave me the option to delete it, which I did unfortunately. Now my menu looks like this, after adding a new one to the panel.Screenshot at 2021-06-09 21-27-57

I want the previous menu back. What do I need to do?

Have you checked if it is still the same theme? What was your old theme and what is the theme after the upgrade?

New theme is Yaru.
Old theme was Ambient Mate.
But surely the menu layout doesn't depend on the theme?

Is this the menu you are looking to restore?

Unfortunately, the team decided to take out the good Redmond menu and to use the Brisk menu. I myself noticed this with a test installation of 21.04. I decided that I would switch to Linux Mint Mate once my UM20.04 LTS has ran out of support, which is really shame.
I don't know why that decision was made, but this Brisk menu not only looks ugly as Windows 7 menu did look ugly, it's totally unusable. If I click on the Menu button, in 20.04, I get the Favourites and can go straight to what I wish to open, but don't need it necessarily as icon in my menu. With the Brisk menu, it shows the content of each of the categories and it takes ages to reach what I want. This behaviour takes the same time as in Gnome 3 Fedora type with the Activities. I get to see 99 information which I don't need before I have the information that I need. And this repeats again and again. Brisk menu means lack of efficiency.

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Yes, that's the one!

OK, as I understand it, that menu was presenting problems and so a decision was made to remove it from 21.04. In my old 20.04 installation, it was called "Advanced MATE Menu" and that's just not available to add to the 21.04 panel as far as I can see. I believe you can add it back from the command line and then add it to the panel and remove the default Brisk Menu.

sudo apt install mate-menu

Although you can install it, there is no guarantee that it will work flawlessly.


Thanks, at least I now know that it was expected to be removed.

I agree, the Brisk menu is a regression usability wise.

For past few versions of Ubuntu MATE, the very first thing I do right after a fresh installation, is to install "Advanced MATE Menu".

I think it's worldwide trend... to remove what is user-friendly (and time-tested) and replace it with something that has reduce functionality and require extra steps... in the name of "improvements/progress".

Just my 2¢.

The good news about this is that, although one person's reduced functionality is the next person's more efficient performance, there is always the ability with Linux distributions to configure things the way you want them to be. You are not locked-in to a restricted ecosystem or walled garden. The operating system works for you, not the other way around.

With Ubuntu MATE, some safe and sane defaults have been pre-selected for you. Yet if you want something different that fits your unique situation then you can tap into the Ubuntu MATE Software Boutique, the Ubuntu Software repository, the Snap store, the available Flathub apps and AppImages, and (with a little effort) any application that is designed for any other Linux distribution.

And ohh, earlier I forgot to add that...

First comes the reduce functionality, feature removals, or extra steps...

Then comes the army of trolls, apologists, paid/unpaid/ideological shills, or just folks that have nothing better to do with their lives... defending, and treating their master / project leader / project team / corporations as the supreme, almighty, all-knowing, at any cost... without even being able to grasp what's being discussed or debated.

When I said "it's worldwide trend" in my previous comment, I was referring to the general trend in IT industry.

Here are just 2 examples: Firefox, and Android.

Visit any of the following forums (there would be countless many other places, I just happens to visit these), and go through the threads from immediately after release of major versions of past few years.

For Firefox desktop and Firefox for Android:

Firefox subreddit
AskUbuntu (questions looking for workarounds right after major Firefox releases)

Now if the Firefox leader/team were all-knowing, why the market share is 3.36% ?


The single most common argument that is being floated around by apologists, "it doesn't come preinstalled like other major browsers" (except Linux distros)... conveniently not looking at the direction Firefox has taken in recent years, and conveniently forgetting that once that share was like 35+ percent or so.

Another most common argument from apologists... "ohh to reduce/maintain code base" (Again, not just about Firefox but IT in general).

My take: if the only way, someone could reduce/maintain code base is by removing features/usability or adding extra steps... they shouldn't be in the business of writing code at all.

Here's an ultimate GitHub repo for all those who just want to reduce code, no matter what:

Excerpts from the repo:

No Code:
No code is the best way to write secure and reliable applications.

Write nothing; deploy nowhere.

Getting Started:
Start by not writing any code.

This is just an example application, but imagine it doing anything you want.

Adding new features is easy too:

The possibilities are endless.

For Android:
Android subreddit (and other related subreddits): for Google removing features, or adding extra steps for the same tasks... or, Google being hostile to open source community, now that Android has captured 80+ percent market share.

I think, it's well known that Google has stopped developing or have generally neglected first-party open source Android apps for a long time, once Android captured the market share.

But still there are plenty of paid/unpaid shills defending $1.63 trillion corporation.

Lastly, very small example: Ubuntu removing Netboot mini ISO (around 75 MB).

For a truly clean installation (where things do not get dumped onto SSD/hard drive first, and then removed, during the installation), it was a great option.

A thread on Netboot mini ISO revival by @Norbert_X at Ubuntu Discourse:

Again, my observations and my 2¢.


This is also something I've observed. It's worrying. Sure the developers should get a large say in what the thing they develop is going to work or behave like--it's not only fair because they're the ones doing the work, it's also they are the ones doing the work. This isn't slavery, no one has the right to compel anyone else to do work for free on their behalf.

That said the modern trend seems to be a complete divorcing of the developers and the user-base. As if they don't have any relation to each other except as priests and supplicants. Because there is an imbalance here, the developers do not need the users to continue doing their thing. Developers can easily sit back and play around with the code and simply keep it for themselves and their own personal use. What are users going to do about it if they do? Users have the choice to use or not use the applications and projects.

The problem is that this is what a lot of users are beginning to do. They're choosing not to use the programs and projects. Firefox user share has cratered since they started pushing for rigid controls in how people use the browser and play hokey pokey with standard features in between releases. So far inertia has carried them quite a distance and it wouldn't surprise me a bit to discover much of the funding they get these days is more about preventing an anti-competitive monopoly lawsuit bonanza should Firefox be completely pushed out of the market.

There really needs to be a way that users can participate and get their needs met without needing to completely walk away when a project goes in a direction they don't like. Some better way to get feedback than the complete collapse of market share over time. Because that usually leads to the end of the program or project unless it gets forked and taken in a direction users want.

The whole thing is messy.

Sure the developers should get a large say in what the thing they develop is going to work or behave like--it's not only fair because they're the ones doing the work, it's also they are the ones doing the work. This isn't slavery, no one has the right to compel anyone else to do work for free on their behalf.

On this very narrow point, I just like to say that, if it's a FOSS project, and run by a one person... sure.

But when we are talking about Firefox, it's whole different ball game.

As per Wikipedia, in 2018, Mozilla made $450.9 million.

Mozilla CEO made $2.4 million in 2018, 400 percent increase, when usage was down by 85 percent.

Now where is the most revenue came from, out of this $450.9 mil ? Google and other search engines.

Why? Because people searched through Firefox.

So in essence, Firefox user base is the reason for all of this revenue.

So naturally one would think that most/major portion of this revenue would be going to development of Firefox, right? Wrong.

Very small percentage of $450.9 mil goes in to actually developing Firefox.

As per Firefox employee on Reddit, (paraphrasing) someone can donate $1 billion to Mozilla and there will be zero guarantee that even one dollar will go to actually developing Firefox.

Because Mozilla want to spread world peace and what not.

My take: That sounds a noble goal. Let's see the results.

Were they able to stop wars in middle east (Syria, Iraq, Yemen, etc..) or annexation of Crimea by Russia or the riots of 2020 in the U.S. of A.? No.

Were they able to stop global pandemic of COVID 19? No.

So, what they can and should do with $450.9 mil? They can develop a great open source browser... but that is the only thing Mozilla is not interested in, lately.

Now I'm not an economist, but if the market share was like 30 percent, Mozilla would be making much, much more than $450.9 mil (this is with 3.36% share), and then they can spend much more than $450.9 mil on those "world peace" projects... but for that one would need common sense, which is becoming extremely rare these days.

Here's one very small example (we can go on for months debating their design and development choices) of Mozilla's extreme stupidity:

First they killed extensions (the thing that made Firefox unique among other major browsers) on Firefox for Android. Then after a long while, they added back 9 extensions or so, under "approved extensions" or something.

But there was no way for any extension developer to apply to be approved. And many developers tried contacting Mozilla but apparently the process to get approved was either non-existent or some kinda secret... secret from a giant free and open source company.

So, yes developer can have total say and control over his product, if it's a FOSS project run by one person... but not when they (developers and designers of Firefox) are getting paid like any other for-profit company.

Then either they would have to develop what people/customers wants... or sit at 3.36 percent (and dwindling) market share.

Again, my observations and my 2¢.

I'm going to say this and then I'm going to shut up about it. I will ignore any responses to this calling me out. I don't care, you're not changing my mind. I hate this situation so much but it's really not worth dealing with the 'ackshually' trolls who will seek to 'correct the record' on this so I will limit myself to this post and move on.

Some projects are not like the others. Those projects have been converged and no longer focus on their core competencies or even attempt to produce something good. They instead bloviate like a walk-on HBO's Silicon Valley hack about how they want to change the world through their algorithms and very special programming languages.

Mozilla and the people at Firefox have become one of these converged projects. They rearrange the deckchairs occasionally but otherwise do not actually do anything of value. Their focus is on maintenance and a fancy coat of paint. They remove or buy rather than innovate and invent or extend. Their efforts are all about what is on the outside rather than the inside. It's all visual.

The reason is what seems to me to be little more than a pump-n-dump scam. They're not actually programmers. They did not build anything. All they know how to do is prop up and kick the can down the road. Instead they raise massive amounts of money and pass the funds along a chain of 'do-good' projects that no one can object to in such a way that it gets smaller and smaller until nothing is left. And these projects that were supported just coincidentally happen to employ or otherwise benefit themselves or their friends. And instead of the true purpose of developing the best web browser or building the next generation rendering engine or so on or so forth all that can be heard from Mozilla is everything other than their stated core mission.

It's always talk about the outreach for women, about not censoring the web--or maybe just censoring those they dislike, about everything under the sun except the web browser. It's as record scratching as watching Burger King do commercials about Net Neutrality. A real 'Burgers?' type of situation. And it keeps going and going with ever increasing amounts of deck chair arrangements as the web browser gets worse and worse... Loses feature after feature. Becomes less and less trustworthy. But no one is allowed to criticize or else you're anti-woman, against free speech or in favor of hate speech, it all depends on what day it is and really doesn't matter so long as you remember Big Brother loves you and you love Big Brother....

All this stuff that doesn't really matter. All these promising programs like the Firefox phone which was an interesting idea and should have had priority over the latest social causes. The absolute abortion that the mobile version of the browser has become on Android, and for what? To control what people see and do online?

Firefox has lost its way and has been floundering for quite some time now. It's got nothing to do with the monoculture that is Chrome and everything to do with them losing what made them so good so special in the beginning. And everything to do with money.

Why does Firefox keep losing good programmers and treating developers who can code well so poorly compared to those who fart in the wind and call it a new feature? Simple! They can't afford to let anyone who can actually understand what it is they're doing or they'll give the game away!

And that market share? They don't actually care about that. It's not about the users or getting more users, they just need enough to justify raiding the corporate wallet and to allow Google to pretend it actually has competition. Lord knows Google doesn't want to be accused of a monopoly on the web browser like Microsoft was. So they don't want to succeed too much or else they become a threat, the same way they don't want to have a Firefox phone because it might actually compete with Android, the advertising tracking phone operating system.

So what if people leave Firefox and use Chrome, that's the idea any way! At least people feel like they have a choice in the matter. So what if behind the scenes both doors lead to the same place?

Now after thinking about it, consider some of the other open source projects that seem to no longer remember what it is they're supposed to be about. Projects that seem flush with cash and very vocal about their support for causes other than their mission. Starts to make sense, doesn't it? It's not always about user share or making a good application, sometimes it really is all about the money.

And sometimes people think they're the users when in fact they're really the product.

Personally I don't use either menu. I'm not too crazy about that type of desktop. I don't really like anything but the Traditional Panels and menus. It's the above sort of thing that made me nervous when they started with defaulting to Familiar as the layout.

That said I really don't think that's what's happening here with the brisk menu. I think our developers are having to find ways to extend the desktop (ability to control the menu by keyboard) and making hard choices as they rewrite things to fit guidelines for future behavior while also having to contend with changes in the way GTK3 and other components work. Sometimes they have to take a sideways shift to get something that works out the door until they can come back to it and give it the attention it needs.

I'd kind of like to be able to control the Traditional panel layout with a mouse some day if it ever becomes possible....

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After installing the Beta 21.10, I installed the mate-menu but I can't get it working. It looks like the latest UM version no longer allows to change it back.

I'm really disappointed that a distribution called Ubuntu Mate no longer uses the Mate menu. It's ridiculous to believe that everybody likes that faked Windows 7 menu.

Once UM 20.04 has ran out of support, I will switch to Linux Mint Mate.

Correction: It's called "Advanced Mate Menu" in Add to Panel. However, only the Light Yaru theme works with it.

Any plans on bringing it back? I'm on 21.10 now.

It's bizarre they would completely remove the menu instead of fixing the problems.

Those kind of decisions also make me question my future on Mate tbh.

It's bizarre they would completely remove the menu instead of fixing the problems.

The answer is: not enough manpower.

Don't forget that MATE is a project run by volunteers.

Everybody here is doing it in their spare time.
There is much 'doing' needed and a very small group of 'Everybody'
b.t.w. a part of 'Everybody' is here on the forum so you can ask 'they' how you could help to bring it back to life.

You can still install 'Advanced-menu' from PPA:

It seems that, although the version is frozen, it is still available for 21.10 and even 22.04.
Since it is written in python3, I think it will keep on working for the coming years :wink:

What a surprise, the trope card "If you you are not actively helping you are in no position to make requests or point out flaws" was finally drawn.

Maybe you failed to notice that I first brought this up months ago, as have several people since.
No one provided any info regarding how one could help out. The only explanation was: it has problems. Not even info if there is any intention at all of bringing it back.

You may also have missed this post saying it wasn't fully working anymore.

As such, you could have spared me the "contribute or shut up"-lecture.

What a surprise, the trope card "If you you are not actively helping you are in no position to make requests or point out flaws" was finally drawn.

Thank you for showing your true colors. :laughing: :joy:
And thank you for completely misunderstanding my point. But that doesn't matter.
I like your version better anyway so we'll stick to that. :slight_smile:

Although you are slightly mistaken: You are absolutely in a position to make requests.
It's just that you are in no position to make demands, especially while acting like a self-entitled troublemaker.

Did I said that you are not in a position to do anything ?
As a matter of fact I pointed out to you that you actually CAN do something.

The fact that you are too lazy to help out but are demanding kingdom come from volunteers is insulting and patronizing. Everybody does it's part around here so why not you ? Why are you slacking off while everybody is working their fingers to the bone ? And still having the guts to utter demands ? Do you really need to be spoonfed ?

Well, since you are here. I think it is a good to point you to Lesson 101 for linux:
Linux != Windows , especially problem #3

Maybe you failed to notice that I first brought this up months ago, as have several people since.

Maybe I did not failed to notice. Maybe it's just that I chose to ignore, because I am totally prepared to lead a horse to water but i'm not going to make him drink.

No one provided any info regarding how one could help out.

You didn't ask did you ? :slightly_smiling_face:
You didn't even check on the package details to see that our own Martin Wimpress is governing this menu thing.
You didn't even bother to check for a PPA.
To be honest, you did nothing but complaining and demanding to be spoonfed, right ?

The only explanation was: it has problems. Not even info if there is any intention at all of bringing it back.

Again, you could have asked but you didn't, did you ? :slight_smile:
If you had asked, you would have known that there is a shortage of manpower to work on it.
If you had checked Launchpad for the status of 'mate-menu' you would have seen that, although dormant, it still is there for you to install.

It is not guaranteed to work on every install though, there are some bugs and mate-menu (advanced menu) is on the back burner because of a lot of other things that have a higher priority to be fixed and changes in the new LTS might break it again.

How you can help is to look at these bugreports and add your name to the bugs that are affecting you:

It might be possible to have some workarounds in the meantime, it is not far fetched that someone who is proficient in python can help you with a workaround to get it working

I think there is a reasonable chance that someone will revisit the code if things settle down a bit.

In the meantime it would be a good idea to gather all the users here who want the advanced menu, to get involved with it and it would be great if one of them is proficient enough in python. If this group can iron out the bugs then the only thing needed is a pull-request and a code review to get it back. Oh, and someone should be the package maintainer but I am convinced that there are enough people to help ironing that out.