I was editing menu (rearranging a few shortcuts) when something went wrong and the machine got frozen. Upon hard-resetting I found the "Applications" menu to be completely empty. No way to edit it as well; if I select "Edit menus" from the right-click list of items, the window fails opening (just flashes briefly).

Its "Places" and "System" counterparts work perfectly normal. Apart from the menu everything runs just fine.

I would appreciate ideas on how to restore it.

4 Answers 4


I found the solution myself. I describe it here in case someone else needs it.

The troubled file was /home/<username>/.config/menus/mate-applications.menu. In my case it was clear which part of the file was damaged and how the latter is to be repaired (should it not be the case the way forward would be to use newest of the backups named as mate-applications.menu.undo-10 located in the same directory).


I believe that trying to use drag-and-drop in the menu applet caused the issue in my case.

In the mentioned /home/<username>/.config/menus/mate-applications.menu file there was at the end a wrongly formatted XML section. Something like <New>d</Old>

By correcting that and saving, at next use the applet showed again the applications.


I removed the menus directory in .config using:

me@pc ~/.config $ rm -rf menus/

G-Man's answer provided the needed clue for me, I just looked up the /home/shimmy/.config/menus/mate-applications.menu file and copied and pasted https://github.com/mate-desktop/mate-menus/blob/master/layout/mate-applications.menu in to it (found through a search)

  • The ability to edit the menu came up immediately, but the actual applet seemed to lag in showing all the application icons so I deleted my comment, thinking it wasn't working, but it seems to be ok for now. May 7, 2019 at 20:27

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