I am someone who is not a fanboy of any operating system. Have spent a lot of time on Windows, OSX as well as GNU/Linux and FreeBSD. I am looking for a desktop environment on GNU/Linux that features two things I have grown fond of after working on OSX:

a) A Global-menu b) Alt+~ or some shortcut to switch between windows of the same application.

The old Gnome and KDE3 had these features (you had to install a package or two, but hey, it was at least possible). However, their modern iterations seem to have dropped support for them. Is there any modern desktop environment that has these two things other than Ubuntu Unity which I find difficult to use?

Please don't resort to asking me to change the way I work. Please don't tell me why global-menu is bad or is bad interface design or some such thing. I am weary of listening to such answers.

  • Please define: "Global-Menu". – Bobby Oct 16 '12 at 10:07

I'm not sure if I'm just stating the obvious, but you may try Unity. Unity is the default environment of Ubuntu 12.10 (since 11.04) and may be considered usable now. In my experience its not the fastest one, but it currently does its job on my 13 inch notebook.

a) It has a menu at the top of the screen, which contains the window menu of the currently active window. While the menu content is hidden by default, it shows up once you hover your mouse over the menubar. At the right side of this menu you will find the notification area, which takes over the tasks of a systray.

b) Furthermore, the combination of ALT-^ on a German keyboard (its ALT-~ on an US keyboard, I think) does change between windows of the same application. Note that this is restricted to all windows on the current desktop (this should however be adjustable).

As a side node: It has a dock on the left side and the "dash" (which I don't really like). However, I have not yet found any other way to get such a great space efficient desktop environment, which is the reason I'm using it. So, if there is anyone with pointers in how to get rid of the dash and the starter or achiving the space efficient global menu with notification area in another desktop environment I'd love to see those.

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