Someone don’t care about the forced meditation on the infinite opening menu when you start the application, but if you use Linux, you most likely prefer to spend time more productively. Here and useful app launcher. It allows you to do anything, ranging from launching applications to search files with a few taps on the keyboard.
Linux variants panels run quite large, but the choice between them may put you in a deadlock. We have collected 9 great programs to run applications in Linux, and now tell you about the benefits of each.
If you used macOS in recent years, most likely, Cerebro will be familiar to you. Why? The app aims to offer the same functionality as Spotlight, the built-in macOS – for the convenience of users switching from macOS to Linux.
The default shortcut to launch the application: Ctrl + Space. As soon as a small window, you can launch apps, search files and more. When you enter the name of the location followed by “map”, the map of the location is displayed directly in the window.
Start typing a simple mathematical words, such as “2 + 2” and the results will appear immediately. Plug-ins and integrate with other services. These plug-ins appear in the Cerebro interface, so you don’t need to search them in the Internet, as it would with some other programs run.
Cerebro is an app Electron, so it works on macOS and Windows in addition to Linux. The development seems to have slowed, but Cerebro is fully operational.
Download: Cerebro (free)
If you have ever studied the app launcher Linux, chances are you stumbled across a Synapse. This application uses the engine of Gnome Zeitgeist, so it quickly displays the search results. But if you are not using Gnome, you may it will not work.
In addition to launching apps and finding files, Synapse also has quick shortcuts to exit the user account and shutdown or reboot the computer. You can also use plugins to play MP3 files in media player by default, start commands in the terminal lock screen.
Synapse development has slowed, and the majority of recent releases focus on bug fixes, not new features. The latest release was in April 2018, but it should not prevent to you to try Synapse, especially if you’re using Ubuntu.
Download: Synapse (free)
If you’re a fan of Alfred – one of the most popular launcher apps in macOS is the name “albert” might seem a bit familiar to you. This is obviously done purposely so that users Alfred feel at home using Albert.
Most launchers (another from our list) focused on the keyboard, but albert goes further. The action list is displayed by default as a result of the input, but that’s not all. Hold the Alt key and you will see a list containing all the alternative actions.
On the official website of Albert you can see everything you can do with the keyboard.
Albert offers prebuilt packages for many Linux distributions, so it is easy to install. The application is written in Qt, but should work well with different desktop environments.
Download: albert (free)
One of the old launchers in this list, Launchy, may be familiar to Windows users. In fact, the app seems more focused on Windows, but also available on Linux and macOS. All plugins on the website of Launchy is available for Windows only, but if you install them in Ubuntu, you will see that the package Launchy-plugins available.
All the default features that you would expect here: you can find and start applications, find and open files. Even if you never touch the plugins, it’s still comfortable. If you are looking for ease, not a worry, it is a good choice. It is also useful if you just want to use the launcher with which you are already familiar with in Windows.
Download: Launchy (free)
Unlike many other entries in this list, the developer Lighthouse does not describe it as a launcher. Instead, he is described as “a Simple flexible popup dialog to run on X”.
If you need some of the benefits of the launcher without adding any large amount into your system, it may be a good choice. The beacon is very lightweight and is not going to waste any system resources to run.
On the other hand, you have to configure it yourself. He doesn’t even have shortcuts by default. Instead, you decide how you want it to run. This somewhat suggests that a single ready-made package is the package of lighthouse-git for Arch Linux.
Download: Lighthouse (free)
6. Gnome Do
Gnome Do was the old, but beloved by many to this day, one of the early launchers available for Linux. Despite his age, Gnome Do is still available and offers some features that you won’t find in other tools run.
For example, if you enter the name of the application that is already running, Gnome Do recognize this and offer options for window management. There are also many available plugins, and they are embedded. All you need to do is enable the ones you want to use.
As the name “Gnome”, the launcher is intended for GNOME users, but should also work for the MATE and other desktop, based on GNOME.
Download: Gnome Do (free)
While Cerebro draws inspiration from the Spotlight, and albert inspired by Alfredo Kupfer is inspired by another means run macOS: Quicksilver. If you spend the time on the “comma trick”, the function of Quicksilver, which allows you to perform operations with several files that are located anywhere on your computer, you will like Kupfer.
This feature is included in Kupfer among many others. Like many other launchers, Kupfer uses a system of plugins. Here it is widely used, as even launching applications is handled by the plugin, which is included in the kit. Other plugins include support for the file browser Thunar and the plugin Notes which integrates with Gnote or Tomboy.
Kupfer has not been updated in over two years, but if you are a current or former user of Quicksilver, its certainly worth a look.
Download: Kupfer (free)
Apwal unlike any other launcher in the list. Instead of relying on shortcuts, Apwal completely relies on your mouse. In particular, it is bound to your right mouse button.
Click the right mouse button, and around it will appear different icons allowing you to launch frequently used applications with one quick click. Attached Apwal editor allows you to customize what icons are displayed and what happens when you click on them.
If you prefer, you can configure Apwal to use shortcuts, for example Alt + Space instead of the right mouse button to act more than any other launcher in this list. However, it’s a different approach that may appeal to you if you are more visually oriented person.
Download: Apwal (free)
One of the hottest starters in our days, Ulauncher not much different from other launchers in this list. However, what he does, he does very well.
If you are not used to the typos, Ulauncher may well become your new best friend, as he understands that you want to print. Even better, the more you use it, the more he learns that you want to open when you type just a few letters. In the end, it fits like a glove.
Ulauncher has a large library of available extensions, including support for two-factor authentication, integration with Trello integration with Docker, and even the ability to search for projects in Visual Studio. Packages are available for Debian / Ubuntu, Fedora, CentOS and openSUSE, so they are easy to install. Development is still very active, so if you want to live on the cutting edge, it may be the best option.
Download: Ulauncher (free)
Which program to quick launch right for you?
Although all of the above launcher share several features, they are far from copies of one another. Albert, completely focused on the keyboard, to Apwal, based on the mouse, they are quite different, so you can experiment with several before you decide to settle. In the end, you will definitely find the right one for you.