Custom menus in Qubes 4.2.1 (XFCE)

Does anyone use custom menus on the new Qubes OS (4.2.1)?
I used to use custom menus for each VM that I was using. I managed to find how a menu is created in XFCE so I can add it in the toolbar and open shortcuts of the apps directly from the custom menus.
For some reason, that way is not working anymore now.

I will explain the way below:

  • create a new item: right click on the toolbar > Panel > Add New Items… > Applications Menu or Launcher (Qubes 4.1.2 was Launcher, now I see it is Applications Menu)
  • next was to right click on the new icon > Properties, on the new window I was choosing a specific .menu file that I create.

Before creating .menu file:

  • first was to create a folder (/home/[dom0_user]/Menu) with other subfolders for each VM
  • each subfolder has its own .menu file and another subfolder called “applications” where all the .desktop files for that specific VM are.
  • to copy the .desktop files for the applications which you want to put on the .menu go to “/home/[dom0_user]/.local/share/applications” and copy the desired .desktop files to “/home/[dom0_user]/Menu/[VM_name]/applications”.
  • add the .desktop file(s) path/file to the .menu at and

Creating .menu:

<!DOCTYPE Menu PUBLIC "-//freedesktop//DTD Menu 1.0//EN"
  "http://www.freedesktop.org/standards/menu-spec/1.0/menu.dtd">

<Menu>
    <Name>[VM_name]</Name>

    <!-- Read standard .directory and .desktop file locations -->
    <DefaultDirectoryDirs/>
    <DefaultMergeDirs/>
    
	<!-- Add stock tarball installs to menus -->
    <AppDir>/home/[dom0_name]/Menu/[VM_name]/applications</AppDir>

    <Include>
		<Filename>org.qubes-os.vm.[VM_name].firefox-esr.desktop</Filename>
		<Filename>org.qubes-os.vm.[VM_name].org.gnome.Terminal.desktop</Filename>
		<Filename>org.qubes-os.qubes-vm-settings.[VM_name].desktop</Filename>
    </Include>

    <Layout>
		<Filename>org.qubes-os.vm.[VM_name].firefox-esr.desktop</Filename>
		<Separator/>
		<Filename>org.qubes-os.vm.[VM_name].org.gnome.Terminal.desktop</Filename>
		<Separator/>
		<Filename>org.qubes-os.qubes-vm-settings.[VM_name].desktop</Filename>
    </Layout>

</Menu>

Just to be sure that I am not doing something wrong and to avoid any supposedly XFCE changes that were done in the mean time… I picked a .menu file located in “.config/menus/applications-merged/” … same thing. a small empty box is shown when I click the custom menu.
It seems to be an issue with the layout/the way the items are sown.

The difference that I can see is that on the .menu files located in “.config/menus/applications-merged/” here is no section.

Does anyone know what else I can try?

Thank you.

Ok, I understand if no one used this way.
Are there any other ways to create a drop down menu on the toolbar where I can put some specific shortcuts from the VMs that I want?

You could have both (or either of them).
Old one:


Or new one:

Mine is tweaked a lot. But it does not matter. Just right click the panel → Panel → Add New Items → Launcher

Ty for your answer. I know to reach this step but how do I add the shortcuts only from a specific VM. What you showed me there is either the entire menu or the recent used apps.

For example: I need a custom menu with some apps from a VM called “Social”.
The custom menu should have the following apps (all from “Social” VM):

  • Firefox-ESR
  • Signal
  • Telegram Desktop
  • File Manager
  • Terminal
  • Sublime-Text