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Just Gnome Do It!


Sure, clicking on menus and submenus and submenus of submenus (sub-submenus?) is effective, but efficient?  Not a chance.  I’m getting tired just thinking about it, let alone writing about it.  I like to hit <Super>-<Space> (that’s the “Windows” button and space bar, in the common vernacular) then use an adaptive natural language search algorithm that allows me to enter the first few letters of the application I want (e.g. fi for Firefox, ch for Chrome, em for Emacs, etc…) and be on my merry way.  While that may sound complicated (and in all likelihood, would be, if you had to write it yourself,) there’s a very handy application called Gnome Do which takes all the guesswork out of it.  If you’re using Gnome, and haven’t installed Do, ur Gnome Do-in it wrong!  *groan.*  Install thusly:

$ sudo apt-get install gnome-do

That’s the command line way.  There’s a way to do it through the Ubuntu Software Center, no doubt, but I’m just not all that into GUIs.  Now launch it, either via the confounded menu (for the LAST time!) or command line.

$ gnome-do &

Be sure to include the ampersand to spawn the application in the background, else when you kill your terminal window, gnome-do will die along with it, and you’ll find yourself descending into madness and fits of rage induced by endless compulsive smashing of <Super>-<Space>, <Super>-<Space>, to be met with no response until you SIMPLY CANNOT HANDLE IT ANY MORE!  Or not, but still, ampersand.

Now try <Super>-<Space> and you should see something like this:

Gnome Do search UI

When you begin typing the name of an application, like “fir” for Firefox, you should see this:

Search for Firefox in Gnome Do

Hit enter, and you’re ready to surf the tubes!

Pretty excellent, if I do say so myself.  Also, there are tons of plugins and goodness (other themes/looks) that Gnome Do provides, so I highly encourage you to investigate, check out the wiki, and look around the net for the cool stuff people are doing with it.  The documentation is not very comprehensive, or, y’know, existent.  But, it’s intuitive enough; clicking on that arrow in the upper right corner of the launcher window brings up a dialog to open the Preferences, and that’s where the real fun starts.

Enjoy, and happy launching!

From → Linux, Productivity

One Comment
  1. bgbraithwaite permalink

    I love Gnome Do! It is basically everything that I hoped for in Google Desktop, only way better and tons faster. I agree with the “not very comprehensive” comment regarding their documentation, but it’s worth playing around with until you get it.

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