Gnomecleanupmenus

This page is dedicated to the process of cleaning up the panel (I.E. "Applications/Places/System") menus in Gnome.

You might ask yourself, "Why not simply remove the packages instead of removing their menu entries?" Well, for a couple of reasons. First off, some of these menu entries are tied to programs we need (such as pavumeter being a component of the PulseAudio subsystem). We can't remove these individual components without removing the entire PulseAudio package (which we don't want, obviously, unless we don't care about sound on the clients).

Also, a lot of these packages are dependents of the "ubuntu-desktop" package. It is not advised to remove this package, as per its description:

Description: The Ubuntu desktop system
This package depends on all of the packages in the Ubuntu desktop system. It is also used to help ensure proper upgrades, so it is recommended that it not be removed.

There *are* some packages, however, that we can cleanly uninstall without affecting ubuntu-desktop. Here is what I have personally found to be a good 'purge list' of applications that are generally not desired in educational LTSP environments:

sudo apt-get --purge remove tomboy f-spot xsane ekiga evolution pidgin rhythmbox tracker deskbar-applet vinagre transmission-common transmission-gtk serpentine gthumb python-bittorrent bittorrent gnome-btdownload

As far as the rest go, the easiest way I have found to do remove their menu entries is to simply chmod the .desktop files in /usr/share/applications, so they don't appear in the menus (to non-root users anyway). This way, we can easily revert back if we want.

  • Create menu-lockdown.sh

menu-lockdown.sh:

#!/bin/sh
#
# Locks down default non-needed xdg menu entries for non-root users.

cd /usr/share/applications

chmod 640 baobab.desktop
chmod 640 redhat-manage-print-jobs.desktop
chmod 640 evolution.desktop
chmod 640 sun-java6-java.desktop
chmod 640 sun-java6-javaws.desktop
chmod 640 xchat.desktop
chmod 640 totem*.desktop
chmod 640 paman.desktop
chmod 640 padevchooser.desktop
chmod 640 paprefs.desktop
chmod 640 pavucontrol.desktop
chmod 640 pavumeter.desktop
chmod 640 sound-juicer.desktop
chmod 640 gnome-sound-recorder.desktop
chmod 640 gnome-power-preferences.desktop
chmod 640 seahorse*.desktop
chmod 640 transmission.desktop
chmod 640 brasero.desktop
  • Give menu-lockdown.sh executable permissions and give it a whirl:
chmod +x menu-cleanup.sh

./menu-lockdown.sh
  • To get rid of fast-user-switch-applet, you have to disable the panel applet from starting within GConf:

/apps/panel/global/disabled_applets: OAFIID:GNOME_FastUserSwitchApplet (Don't forget to mark this key as Mandatory) (See screenshot here)

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