Arc is a New Applications Menu for GNOME Shell

A simpler, traditional way to browse and open apps on the desktop


Arc Menu App Launcher

Not everyone is a fan of the GNOME Activities overlay, the full-screen UI for managing and launching application on GNOME Shell.

Arc Menu is an alternative app launcher for GNOME Shell. It replaces the Activities button in the top bar with a traditional ‘Start Menu’ style launcher.

And yes, don’t worry: the add-on does work with Dash to Dock and Dash to Panel extensions.

arc applications menu with Dash to Panel

Inspired by the Zorin OS menu, Arc Menu lets you browse apps by category or search for apps by name.

A sidebar offers quick access to local folders, as well as links to open the GNOME Software app, the GNOME System Settings panel, and launch the GNOME Activities overlay.

Buttons to trigger session actions (shut down, log out, lock, etc) are also present.

One big current drawback (which I’m hoping is fixed in a subsequent update) is that you cannot bind the menu to the Super key.

Install Arc Applications Menu for GNOME

Arc Menu works with GNOME 3.14 and above, meaning it should run just great on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (which is what I tested it on). I did have an issue getting the extension to load with GNOME 3.24, but I’m not sure if that is an issue specific to me as the extension is listed as compatible.

Like all GNOME extensions it’s incredibly easy to install Arc Menu: just head to the GNOME Extensions website in a compatible browser (e.g., Firefox, Chrome or Epiphany) and slide the toggle switch from off to on. You’ll see an install prompt (accept).

Arc Menu on GNOME Extensions

You may need to restart GNOME Shell after you install the Arc Menu extension before it shows up as available in GNOME Tweak Tool. You can do this by logging out and back in or  press Alt + F2 and type ‘r‘.

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