How to install Whisker Menu in XFCE (and add functionality to it)

whisker menu

XFCE It is a lightweight desk that for years has been the inescapable reference for those seeking a balance between functionality and speed / agility, and although in recent times its development has not progressed as fast as it used to, its use in older computers is still interesting. for those who do not need all the options that GNOME 3, KDE or Unity offer.

However, there are those who claim that the XFCE menu is somewhat limited, especially when compared with what Unity offers us with Dash, or with the very complete and powerful menus of GNOME Shell, KDE or Cinnamon, but the truth is that on this desktop we can also have a powerful menu, and it is precisely by making use of the plugins that it offers us and that are one of its main features. Let's see then how to install Whisker Menu in XFCE to enhance the menu and have all the potential we need.

Is that in the first place, Whisker Menu offers us a search field that allows us to quickly find any application among all the tangle of those that we have installed, which with the passage of time can be many. But if we prefer to navigate between the different categories (Accessories, Graphics, Configuration, Internet, Multimedia, Office, Preferences, System, etc.) we have a really very interesting functionality such as that of open each item by hovering the mouse pointer over it., which allows us to move without having to click.

To install Whisker Menu in Ubuntu or Xubuntu we execute:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:gottcode/gcppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin

In the case of Debian, we can download the .deb package from the Whisker Menu website and then install using:

sudo dpkg i- xfce-whiskermenu-plugin_1.4.0-1_amd64.deb

In Fedora 20:

cd /etc/yum.repos.d/
yum install xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin

Now despite how good it looks Whisker Menu, we will notice that we cannot open it with a key (for example the Windows key that all keyboards bring) and that it makes things easier to put the mouse aside and type the name of an app in the search engine. Don't worry, this is Linux and there are plenty of customization options everywhere, so all we have to do is go to Applications -> Settings -> Keyboard and once there go to the Application Shortcuts tab, once there we just click on the button 'Add' and we enter the following in the 'Command' field:


When we are asked, we press the Windows key, then we save and from now on we can open and close Whisker Menu with the Windows key.

Another very useful option that does not come by default in XFCE is that of lock the screen with the classic combination of Ctrl + Alt + L, and for this we do the same as just but we enter:


Then when we are asked we press the combination of keys, we save, and we can now lock the screen with this shortcut.

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  1.   dtulf said

    good post! Over there I would add the option for ArchLinux yaourt -S xfce4-whiskermenu-plugin.

    It helped me to configure the famous "Super L" or the one with the window heh!

  2.   gardo said

    It would be nice to be able to regulate the opacity of the whisker menu.

  3.   kostirika said

    Thank you very much, I did not know about 'xfce4-popup-whiskermenu' and it is what bothered me the most with xfce4 and I did the fix with gmrun.

  4.   nemesiuss said

    Hello. I am newbie to linux. I use ubuntu studio 20.04 which uses whisker menu. I am not sure what I played and I lost the default categories, those for sound and image production. the applications are there but I can't find a way to reappear. any idea that can guide me? Thank you