If your Debian menu in GNOME ever disappears

I recently had my Debian menu in GNOME disappear for reasons I could not explain. Since this is where the launcher for many of the applications one installs are typically housed, it was quite the inconvenience. I posted to the debian-user mailing list, and asked around on IRC in #debian and #debian-devel, but the most I ever received was a suggestion to run 'update-menus' from a command line. Having done that within the first 30 minutes of the issue's appearance to no avail, I resigned myself to making do without the menu for the time being.

Uninstalling and reinstalling the menu package was of no help. Reinstalling the gnome package yielded no joy, either. I could examine the contents of /var/lib/gnome and see that the menu structure was being built, it just wasn't making into the menu.

Through some poking around and talking with some folks who emailed me off-list to admit that they, too, had experienced this and were at a loss, the mystery has been solved. Apparently during some upgrade to packages, the menu-xdg package had been removed. Reinstalling it restored the menu to its formerly visible and altogether handy state. I posted a follow-up reply to debian-user in hopes of it helping posterity.

This issue must seem like such a stupid or neophyte question that some people refrain from replying to a mailing list post about it. For those who knew the answer (I assume someone did), the question must have somehow seemed unworthy of reply. However, looking at the menu package, I don't even see a Suggests entry for menu-xdg. It would be a shame if there are other people facing this issue with no resolution, so I am openly admitting that I had this problem in the hopes that it helps someone else out. Perhaps I should file some sort of wishlist bug, but my knowledge of the menu system is still narrow; maybe I will.

I find myself periodically expanding the Debian menu on my desktop just to look at it and enjoy that warm, cozy feeling I get from having it back. 8^)

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