I had this problem for quite some time now. It’s been haunting me from computer to computer and from account to account. I went through all configuration options I could find. I started my Gnome and GTK profiles from scratch a few times. And nothing seemed to help. I even abandoned Gnome over this and switched to KDE and other desktop managers for some time – that’s how annoying it was. And the worst thing, whenever I tried to Google for a solution – a totally different problem was coming up in the search results.
The problem was that in all of my Gnome applications main menu was missing. The menu bar, which has File, Edit, View, Help, and such – never showed up. Be that a video player or GnuCash or anything else. Today I finally found a solution to this major annoyance. Just in case the original will disappear, I quote for generations to come:
The problem was not in the .gnome or .gtk sub-directories, as I suspected. Instead two packages installed were the problem. gnome-globalmenu-common and gnome-applet-globalmenu were the culprits. There are two options if these are installed. The first is to use the applet on one of the Gnome panels either top or bottom of hte screen. This interesting applet will insert the ‘missing’ menu bar from the currently focused application into the bar the applet is a part of. This will be VERY handy on the netbook, where real estate is an issue. The other option is to remove them.
Thank you, Daniel and mutk from #fedora IRC channel. You sirs have saved my sanity.