rofi: lightweight, superfast launcher

Ubuntu, or Linux for that matter, has a number of awesome launchers. Even the stock launchers on different DEs do not disappoint. However, if you are looking for features like drop-down matches, cool GUI etc. you may have to look beyond the stock ones. Synapse has remained our favourite launcher on Ubuntu for non-Unity desktops. And today we came across rofi, a tiny tiny launcher.

Continue reading rofi: lightweight, superfast launcher

Albert: Qt5 Linux launcher

Albert is a brand new launcher for Linux like Mutate. It is in Alpha stage of development at the time of writing. Written in Qt5/C++, Albert can run on many desktop environments. Current features include:

  • Launch applications
  • Open files
  • Open Chromium bookmarks (Firefox to be supported)
  • Calculate mathematical expressions
  • Search the web
  • Configurable modules: add/remove web searches, configure which files it should index, etc.
  • Supports fuzzy search (not enabled by default – it can be enabled individually for each module)
  • Modify the actions taken by pressing the modifier keys
  • Configurable settings: hotkey, maximum history, maximum number of proposals, subtext for selected/unselected item, etc.
  • Themable: ships with 3 themes by default

Albert cannot autostart at the time of writing. It needs to be added to stratup programs.

Albert needs Qt5. To download the latest release of Qt visit here.

To install Albert on Ubuntu:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install albert

On GitHub: Albert

Mutate: awesome launcher for productivity

Mutate is a very fast and powerful launcher for Ubuntu inspired by the Alfred and Spotlight Mac apps. You can call it the next-gen Synapse. In addition to launching apps, Mutate can do or can be extended to do a lot of other things:

  • Find files and applications
  • Find files by extension
  • Kill processes
  • Google translate using keyword tr
  • Google search
  • GitHub search
  • Open URLs in browser
  • Shutdown, logout, reboot
  • Open system or Mutate settings/preferences
  • Custom hotkey support
  • Custom script support (like tr)

To install on Ubuntu:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mutate/ppa
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install mutate


$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noobslab/apps
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install mutate

Once you start the application it continues to run the background. To launch it later use <Ctrl-d>. Type preference to launch preferences window. You can add custom scripts or commands to Mutate.

On GitHub: Mutate

Synapse: launcher application

Try Synapse, the all-powerful <Ctrl-Alt> alternative on Ubuntu. It’s fast, lightweight and relieves you from grabbing the mouse all the time. Synapse is a semantic launcher written in Vala. It can start applications as well as find and access relevant documents and files by making use of the Zeitgeist engine. Got rid of my start menu in Ubuntu – one less gnome-applet.

Synapse works on a plugin-based design. The main plugins shipped with Synapse are:

  • Applications – searches your desktop files
  • Banshee – allows you to play/enqueue music files in Banshee (or Rhythmbox, Xnoise)
  • Commands – runs any command (ie. “sudo apt-get update”)
  • Devhelp – search documentation using Devhelp
  • Dictionary – find definitions of words
  • Directory search – allows opening of commonly used directories
  • Gnome session – log out, shut down, restart
  • Hybrid search – complete Zeitgeist results by searching for similar files
  • Imgur – share images using Imgur
  • Pastebin – upload files to pastebin
  • Rhytmbox – play/enqueue music files in Rhythmbox
  • SSH – connect to remote host using SSH
  • UPower – suspend & hibernate your computer
  • Zeitgeist – search anything logged by Zeitgeist

To install Synapse on Ubuntu:

$ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:synapse-core/testing
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install synapse

To enable the pastebin plugin, run:

$ sudo apt-get install pastebinit

Webpage: Synapse

Similar software

Update: I have started using Unity in Ubuntu 12.04 and the HUD provides all the functionality of Synapse.