Ubuntu Alacarte Menu Editor

Ubuntu documentation

One of the greatest benefits of using Ubuntu is that it offers a ton of customizable features. This is especially true for menu options. Ubuntu comes with the Alacarte menu editor, so you can customize your menus and add entries for applications that don't automatically appear after they are installed.

Person using the Ubuntu Alacarte menu

Alacarte is a powerful application, but it doesn't necessarily work in all situations. The default Ubuntu installation uses the GNOME desktop environment. GNOME offers a completely different approach to listing applications. It shows them all in a large list, similar to in a mobile device. So, Alacarte won't do much to help you with GNOME.

If, however, you've chosen a different GTK-based desktop environment, like MATE, XFCE, or Cinnamon, you can take full advantage of Alacarte to customize your applications menu.

Install Alacarte

Alacarte is available in the regular Ubuntu repositories. Open your terminal emulator and run the following command to install it.

sudo apt install alacarte

How to Create a New Menu Entry With Alacarte

To add a new menu entry:

  1. Open Alacarte with Applications > Accessories > Alacarte Menu Editor or by right-clicking on any top-level menu and choosing Edit Menus.

  2. In Alacarte's left panel, choose the submenu the new entry should appear in.

    Alacarte menu editor on Linux
  3. Press New Menu on the far right of the Alacarte window.

    Alacarte menu editor with New Menu highlighted
  4. A Launcher Properties window opens for you to create the menu entry. Start by giving it a Name.

    Name field highlighted in Alacarte's Launcher Properties window
  5. In the Command field, type the command to launch your application. If you aren't sure what it is, press Browse and go to /usr/bin. All the applications are there, although the list may be massive.

    Alacarte menu editor showing Command path and Browse button
  6. Select the image icon in the Launcher Properties window to open a browse window. Browse to the installed icons on your system at /usr/share/icons and make your selection.

    Alacarte Launcher Properties with image icon highlighted
  7. Optionally, add a Comment to your entry. Press OK to close the Launcher Properties window and create the new menu item.

    Alacarte menu editor showing Comment section and OK button