Software & Apps Linux How to Add a Windows-Style Application Menu to GNOME and KDE Plasma Get a Linux applications menu by Jack Wallen Writer Jack Wallen is a former Lifewire writer, an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com, and the voice of The Android Expert. our editorial process LinkedIn Jack Wallen Updated on July 26, 2020 Linux Switching from Windows Tweet Share Email The Linux desktop can be an exercise in freedom for many. But to some, the difference in the user interface can be a bit much to grasp at first. Fortunately, most Linux desktop environments allow you to easily customize how they look and work. One such customization is in the applications menu. If you’d like to make the transition from Windows to Linux a bit easier, having a Windows 10-like menu might be just the ticket for success. Fortunately, doing this on both GNOME and KDE Plasma is quite easy. Version Information For the purposes of this howto, we used Ubuntu 19.04 for GNOME 3.32 and KDE Neon for KDE 5.15.3. GNOME Let’s start with GNOME, as it makes for the more drastic transformation. What we’re going to do is add the Frippery applications menu GNOME Shell extension. Although this isn’t a drop-in replacement for the Windows 10 menu, it’s one of the few menu extensions that currently works on the latest GNOME. Before you install the extension, you must first install the GNOME Shell native connector, which enables you to add extensions via the web browser. To install this piece of software, do the following: Open a terminal window. Type the command When prompted, type your user password. Allow the installation to complete. With the connector in place, we have to now install the Browser Extension. To do that, follow these steps: Open Firefox and point it to the GNOME Shell Extension site. Select Click here to install browser extensions. When prompted, press Allow. Press Add. Press OK to dismiss the installation report. When prompted, press Install. Now it’s time to install the extension. Here’s how: From the GNOME Shell Extension site, search for "Frippery applications menu." Slide the On/Off slider until it’s in the On position. When prompted, press Install. Allow the installation to complete. After installing the first GNOME Shell extension, you will only have to click Install when adding other extensions (because you’ve already given the browser permission to install from the GNOME Shell extension site). At this point, you should see that the Activities button has transformed into an Applications button. Press Applications to reveal the category-based menu, where you can launch any of your installed applications. This isn’t an exact replica of the Windows 10 desktop menu, but it’ll be much easier for those who aren’t a fan of GNOME Dash. KDE Plasma Now let’s take care of KDE Plasma. Although KDE already has an outstanding desktop menu, many Windows users might prefer the look and feel of the Tiled Menu. To install this menu, follow these steps: Press Options at the far right of the KDE Panel. Select Add Widgets. Select Get new Widgets. Choose Download New Plasma Widgets. In the resulting window, type Tiled in the search area, and then press Install associated with Tiled Menu. When the installation completes, right-click the KDE menu, and select Alternatives. Select Tiled Menu, and press Switch. You should now have a very Windows 10-like Application menu on KDE Plasma. And that’s all there is to changing your GNOME and KDE Plasma menus so that they look more like that found in the Windows desktop. Although these might not be perfect replacements, they will serve you well in your transition from Windows to Linux.