Installing ubuntu-system-panel (USP) On Ubuntu 8.10

Version 1.0
Author: Falko Timme

ubuntu-system-panel is a simple launcher for the GNOME desktop, providing easy access to Places, Applications and common configuration items for your computer. This guide shows how to install and configure it on an Ubuntu 8.10 desktop.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


1 Installing ubuntu-system-panel

Open a terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal):

Install Subversion...

sudo apt-get install subversion

... and download the ubuntu-system-panel sources:

mkdir -p ~/Downloads/SVN
cd ~/Downloads/SVN
svn checkout ubuntu-system-panel

Afterwards you can install ubuntu-system-panel as follows:

cd ubuntu-system-panel
./usp_update install fresh


If you are on an x86_64 system (only then), you also need to run the following command:

sudo cp /usr/lib/python2.4/site-packages/usp/plugins/


Finally run

killall gnome-panel

This will make the panels disappear for a few moments - nothing to worry about.

ubuntu-system-panel is now installed and ready to be used.


Here are some additional commands that you might need:

To update ubuntu-system-panel:

cd ~/Downloads/SVN/ubuntu-system-panel
./usp_update update

To uninstall ubuntu-system-panel:

cd ~/Downloads/SVN/ubuntu-system-panel
./usp_update uninstall

To completely remove it from your system (including the ubuntu-system-panel settings):

cd ~/Downloads/SVN/ubuntu-system-panel
./usp_update uninstall complete



2 Using ubuntu-system-panel

Right-click on an empty area on your panel and select Add to Panel...:

Select Ubuntu System Panel from the Add to Panel window and click on Close:

Afterwards you find a new item on your panel called System. Click on it, and you'll see the Ubuntu System Panel in its full beauty:

If you decide to use the Ubuntu System Panel instead of the normal Applications - Places - System menu, you can remove the normal menu by right-clicking on it and selecting Remove From Panel:

To move the Ubuntu System Panel to the top left spot on the panel, we must unlock the remaining icons that are left of it (right-click and uncheck Lock To Panel)...

... and move it (right-click > Move) to the top left spot...

... then lock it (right-click > Lock To Panel):

Here's how it looks:


2.1 Adding Places

You might have noticed that the Places section is missing in the Ubuntu System Panel. To add it, right-click on System and select Preferences:

On the Main tab, there's a window called Plugins. Click on the Add button...

... and fill in places as the plugin name:

You should now see the places plugin at the end of the plugins list. You can now move it up or down using the Move Up/Move Down buttons.

I found out that if the places plugin is in certain positions, the Ubuntu System Panel won't work anymore. If you experience the same problem, just go to Preferences again and change the position of the places plugin. I've put it in the fourth position (below newpane, uspuser, and system_management, and it's working for me):

Click on Apply and Close to leave the Preferences window.

This is how the Ubuntu System Panel looks with the Places section:


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20 Comment(s)

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By: Very goood application

hey usp's developers, thank you this applications

By: Anonymous

no to linux

By: Anonymous

Why would you want to use this outdated, clumsy menu when you can use its (unnoficial) predecessor mintmenu? Its an official linux mint tool, so you can install it on any ubuntu computer.

By: gyffes

Question: Any idea what makes it NOT work with 'Places' in the "wrong" spot(s)?

Will this panel work under an older iteration of Ubuntu?

By: Anonymous3312

Looks nice. I was looking this like menu system to ubuntu but now

its look be possibility. I think looks ubuntu to desktop again if this will come to stable release.

By: Anonymous

I made a deb according to the LinuxMint menu but with Ubuntu logo, if you need it, you can find it here

By: Anonymous

Linux Mint (which is Ubuntu based) has something like this by default.

By: mohan

thanks for the tutorial...really i need this...this will help me to install the system panel...

By: bergquist

I did not know that I needed this program, I did!!! :)

By: lielaisKK


By: James Whit

Wow that really lloks great!

By: Anonymous

man, that menu is awfu!

what is good about this new menu?

the current menu is fine (heck, even the current one is a bit bloated)

don't encourage more bloat...lets not make ubuntu another windows

By: Anonymous

I must agree, having only very recently swapped to Linux, this does look attractive, cos its pretty much 'Start' again... Its good stuff i guess, so who likes the bloat, ok... but the standard menu on 8.10 does it all -  just differently.

By: Anonymous(different)

at my house the 2 computers that are used the most are my ubuntu "assembled from scrap" machine and the bloated family machine that runs window$ xp. with the start button on the xp machine you can reach an place on the computer after you wait 5 minutes for windows to render a program menu as big as the entire screen! seriously this system menu looks exactly the same size and has huge blotches of empty space. my verdict: it sucks

By: Anonymous

Hey thanks for taking the time to show users how to do this. The panel isn't quite  what I am looking for but maybe after some more development. For anyone looking at this with Kubuntu 8.10 check out the Lancealot menu. It is a great replacement for the KDE panel in my opinion.

By: mrphoenix

Is there any .deb package from it?


By: Anand

This information from your screen shots explained me and gained me some knowledge ! 


By: fab

any chance on really finding what you need in there? there's the gnome-main-menu which does that all already...

you want productivity? try GNOME-DO or LAUNCHY! in nearly all cases you KNOW what you're looking for and don't need that menu to go and search what you know.. so just click and run

By: Anonymous

The detailed installation steps given by Mr Falko Timme are very very useful & helpful & self explanatory.


By: Anonymous

I've found the following isn't necessary for Ubuntu 9.04....or is something else needed...seems to be working good.

If you are on an x86_64 system (only then), you also need to run the following command:

sudo cp /usr/lib/python2.4/site-packages/usp/plugins/