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Brisk menu linux mint

Brisk menu linux mint

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brisk-menu is a modern and efficient menu designed to improve the MATE Desktop Environment with modern, first-class options.

The purpose of this project is to provide a usable menu as seen in other desktops without the bloat and performance issues.

brisk-menu is distro-agnostic and the reporting of portability issues is encouraged.

brisk-menu is a collaborative project between Solus and Ubuntu MATE

  • Keyboard centric (mice welcome too, of course)
  • Hotkey support (defaults to Super , configurable in gsettings)
  • Stupid-fast
  • Efficient, useful searching with prioritised listings
  • Modular backend design split from the frontend, allowing new backends in future (hint: the frontend is not tied to .desktop files)
  • Context menus for .desktop actions (incognito mode, etc.)
  • Pin shortcuts to the Favourites backend and directly to the desktop using the context menu (unpin too!)
  • Configurable label (hide/text)
  • Automatically adapt to vertical panels
  • Automatically reload
  • Filter via categories
  • Session/screensaver controls
  • Drag & drop support for launchers
  • Sidebar launcher support
  • GTK3 + CSS styling options
  • Fully correct X11 WM integration (grab policy and window types)
  • Not Python.


These planned features will be implemented in the future:

  • Settings UI to control further visual aspects (labels/icons/options)
  • Improved styling for the window edge + search entry.

More will be added.

Building Brisk Menu


  • GTK 3.18 or greater
  • GTK 3.18 build of Mate 1.16 or greater
  • Modern meson ( 0.40.x +) and ninja (Ubuntu users should use xenial-backports)

Build Process:

Development on Solus:

Copyright © 2016-2018 Brisk Menu Developers

brisk-menu is available under the terms of the GPL-2.0 license.

The brisk_system-log-out-symbolic.svg icon is a copy of application-exit-symbolic.svg to use within Brisk.

This icon is copyright © Sam Hewitt, from the Paper Icons theme, available under the terms of the CC-BY-SA-4.0 license.


Linux Mint Forums

Welcome to the Linux Mint forums!

Mate menu customisation – trying Brisk but would like to change it.

Mate menu customisation – trying Brisk but would like to change it.

Post by DerekP » Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:56 am

I’m looking at using Mint Mate for my parents in a post Win7 world. Mate, because i get the impression that its feature-set is fairly stable, so my parents (bless them) are less likely to receive some revolutionary new way to access an application or their documents.

However, the Mint Mate default appearances are just awful and a real-turnoff (cluttered looking and confusing tbh). I had a look at Solus’ implementation of Mate and its lovely. So i thought i’d copy it. I’ve never themed or customised Linux to date, so i’ve been happy that my research found and i’ve used:
– Papirus Icons
– Adapta Theme
– Brisk Menu

It looks waaay better. But i’m not happy with the menu. I would much rather the Cinnamon style menu where its a simple (and clean) two columns for the menu and the left-most column for favourites (the idea of having to click to enter favourites doesn’t make sense to me). I have hunted around but i’m not sure where to go from here. I’m ok to replace the Brisk menu if that achieves what i want – or modify the menu somehow to achieve the layout i’m looking for.

Any pointers are warmly received, thanks.

Re: Mate menu customisation – trying Brisk but would like to change it.

Post by smurphos » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:33 am

Stock Mint menu and Mate Advanced Menu can both be made less cluttered (via right click on there respective icons) > preferences. But you’ll always need to click between favourites and all applications even in the most bare-boned setups.

Brisk has a few config options but they are hidden away in the dconf database. apt install dconf-editor to install a GUI to access the settings. Once there search brisk. There is no way to not have favourites as a clickable category. Dash mode is quite a dramatic change – a Gnome3 style fullscreen menu – you’ll need to either log-out and log back in for that change to take effect or remove and re-add the brisk menu to the panel.

Re: Mate menu customisation – trying Brisk but would like to change it.

Post by DerekP » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:53 am

Thanks for the suggestion.

In Solus they have reduced it to two columns, but as you say – the Favourites are still a click away

I had a bit of a play with the configs and i couldn’t get it to appear much different there (irrespective of Favs). Oh well, i’ve probably poured more energy than i need to into it. I could just ask my parents to try it. Maybe i’ll just pin their favourites to the task bar (quick launch).

Just musing. I wonder if Mint will consider a bit of a visual overhaul. Its looking quite dated and first impressions aren’t spectacular anymore.

Re: Mate menu customisation – trying Brisk but would like to change it.

Post by smurphos » Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:02 am

It’s not long had one (assuming you are trying 19 or 19.1)

They are making incremental improvements to the Mint-Y themes with each point release, but I don’t see the Mate or XFCE editions getting any dramatic change in there default layouts.

By the way for your parents you might find XFCE and the whisker menu better.

Again you’ll probably think it looks quite dated/basic out of the box but as with all the Desktops it’s not that hard to make them into something completely different.

Re: Mate menu customisation – trying Brisk but would like to change it.

Post by DerekP » Wed Feb 20, 2019 4:12 am

Yeah, i’ve whipped both up in a VM and they were pretty even. I’ll try the Whisker menu (is that the default XFCE menu?).

While i do think it looks dated, i think it’s about how aesthetics can improve the UX (not just flash, but appropriate design). When i used the combination of Papirus and Adapta, there appeared to be a bit more ‘white space’ between items, and the cleaner ‘flatter’ look was easier to see the difference between apps. The highly detailed and tiny original icons were too ‘busy’. The default Mint quicklaunch icons for example are tiny and ‘mushy’ – Firefox doesn’t even look like Firefox – and they’re square which probably adds to the cluttered feel.


Brisk menu linux mint

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ikeydoherty released this Nov 2, 2017 · 23 commits to master since this release

ikeydoherty released this Jun 11, 2017 · 76 commits to master since this release

Maintenance release prior to the 0.5.0 feature release

  • Add full vertical panel support
  • Switch everything to backends ( All button is now a backend too)
  • Dynamically size menu to the best size available on the screen
  • Fix Super key binding being swallowed by others (and swallowing theirs) – requires fixes in Albert, MATE Settings Daemon, etc.
  • Sync translations

20 commits, 60 files changed, 1,297 additions and 320 deletions.

ikeydoherty released this May 18, 2017 · 96 commits to master since this release

The 0.4.0 release is made possible through the continued collaboration with, and support of, the Ubuntu MATE project, @flexiondotorg and community contributions. Many thanks to everyone!

Changes in this release:

  • Super key now now works! Thanks go to @vkareh
  • Label text is now configurable thanks to @feddasch
  • The menu now dynamically adapts to vertical panel layouts – thanks to @cybre
  • The project has been largely restructured to be modular. The core load + management mechanism is now handled by a BriskAppsBackend , and the frontend is no longer tied explicitly to libmate-menus or even .desktop files. This opens up the future possibilities for Favourites Pinning and “others” (. ) through the generic BriskBackend , BriskItem , and BriskSection API (0.5.0 :))
  • Reloading has been changed and fixed, always works (part of the new BriskAppsBackend , signal based)
  • Control Center applications are now listed in Preferences and Administration categories
  • And lots more

See the full changelog here

The road to 0.5.0 is fairly short but full of excitement, such as the planned favourites support and dash support .. 😁


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