Friday, March 21, 2014

Kali Linux Menu in Ubuntu Unity desktop

This article is in continuation to my last article where we discussed Setting up Ubuntu as a Penetration Testing and Development environment.

For this post I assume that you have completed all the steps mentioned in the above post to install Kali tools (especially the kali-menu application)

I have been using Unity for some time and prefer it to the gnome panel,  but if you need to work with Kali tools the gnome panel (actually the application kali-menu) does a really commendable job in creating the hierarchical menu setup of the various penetration testing tools available in Kali.

So essentially I needed a solution that will allow me to have a hierarchical menu structure of Kali tools within the Unity desktop.

Enter a small application that does this neatly, called classicmenu-indicator. Take a look at the image below that shows the gnome-panel type menu with Kali Linux tools in the Ubuntu Unity interface.

First install classicmenu-indicator by following the instructions mentioned at

Once done you will see the classicmenu-indicator icon at the top right bar, but when you expand it you will not see the Kali Linux tools options in the drop down menu. To get the same working there are additional steps to be performed.
sudo cd /etc/xdg/menus
sudo mkdir classicmenuindicatorsystem-merged
sudo cp applications-merged/ classicmenuindicatorsystem-merged
sudo vi
Store the following in the and save the file <!DOCTYPE Menu PUBLIC "-//freedesktop//DTD Menu 1.0//EN" "" > <Menu>   <Name>Applications</Name>   <Directory></Directory>   <!-- Read standard .directory and .desktop file locations -->   <DefaultAppDirs />   <DefaultDirectoryDirs />   <!-- Read in overrides and child menus from applications-merged/ -->   <DefaultMergeDirs />   <Layout>   <Menuname>Kali</Menuname>   </Layout>    </Menu> <!-- End Applications -->

Select Refresh a couple of times in classicmenu-indicator options or logout and login again. You will notice the Kali Linux menu now showing up.

Also note that Kali Linux menu will only show entries for those Kali Linux applications you have installed. It will not show other applications that are yet to be installed. They will start appearing as and when you install them.


  1. This doesn't seem to get the Kali item in the does appear in the "menu" preferences but there is no Kali in the menu...I am running 16.04

  2. Hemen I am so glad I found your post and blog I've been having so much trouble with this cherry trail series atom processor as good as it is in this little asus I grabbed for 75$. But Ubuntu it'll run without much trouble Kali Cherry Trail series atoms are notoriously bad with Linux installs and Kali is the worst of any, Ubuntu the easiest besides maybe debian. But I like you prefer Ubuntu anyday for a OS I can do my day to day and my work on. Well I've picked up quite a few pen T'ing certifications so I was dreaming of this once I started fiddleing with this little asus. Thanks works great, looks great, couldn't have been better explained as well. I'm no expert I consider myself in my early education as a programmer/pentester and it was painless. Thank you for your time.