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It looks like a new "locally integrated menu" will make it into Unity, starting with version 5.6.0. There's basically no information about the new locally integrated menubar, except for two bug reports which link to some custom Unity, Compiz, Metacity and Light Themes branches so to see "LIM" in action, I've compiled all these branches and here's the result:

locally integrated menubar ubuntu

unity locally integrated menubar

As you can see, the "locally integrated menubar" can be displayed on the panel (for maximized windows) as well as in the window decoration (unmaximized windows). But it's not displayed on both in the same time.

Using the current code, locally integrated menubar is disabled by default, but it can be enabled via Dconf-editor (com > canonical > indicator > appmenu > menu-mode: locally-integrated).

In my test, the menu worked only partially: the window decoration implementation works great in Unity 2D, but there's no menu on the panel. In Unity 3D, the locally integrated menu shows up for both maximized and unmaximized windows, but the window decoration menu only works for unfocused windows most of the time - that's why I took the first screenshot above in Unity 2D.

Also, since Metacity is used, the menu can be moved around the titlebar. Right now there's a bug though and moving it to the right makes the window decoration crash, but it can be moved to the left/right of the window buttons (while the buttons are on the left):

ubuntu locally integrated menu

There's no easy way to install the locally integrated menubar for now. To test it, you'll have to compile the LIM branches for Metacity, Unity, Compiz and Light Themes.

What do you think? Do you prefer the global menu, HUD or LIM?

thanks to chimerarevo.com for the heads up