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Gnome Do Application Launcher

with 11 comments



Gnome Do is an application launcher for the Gnome Desktop that works quite well. In addition to being an application launcher, Gnome Do is capable of performing many other actions including quick online searching, quick music access, etc. I managed to install and try it on my Ubuntu Gutsy Desktop, and wanted to introduce it to Killer Tech Tips readers.

Gnome Do Launcher

Gnome Do Installation

Like installing many other applications on Ubuntu, installing Gnome Do was also easy. I’ll only talk about installing it on Ubuntu. If you’re on some other Linux Distro, you could try the methods mentioned here.

Ubuntu Users: Go to your terminal and type:
gksu gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the line below to the file that opens on gedit:
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/do-core/ubuntu gutsy main

Once that is done, save the file and close gedit. Return back to the terminal. Type in the following to update the repository list:
sudo apt-get update

Then give the following command to install Gnome Do:
sudo apt-get install gnome-do

Using Gnome Do

Now that Gnome Do is installed, you can find an option to launch it in the Applications > Accessories menu.

Gnome Do is not added to the start up programs list. You may want to go to System > Preferences > Sessions and add gnome-do –quiet to make Gnome Do start up automatically when Ubuntu boots up.

By default, the Win Key + Space shortcut is used to bring Gnome Do into focus. Type in something, and Gnome Do will offer possible options. For example, as I type in ‘sud’, I get the following suggestions:

Gnome Do

Since I want to run the Sudoku game, I press Enter.

If you’re offered multiple options, you can use the arrow keys to cycle through them, one by one.

Gnome Do – Customization and Plugins

You can customize the Gnome Do shortcut (default is Win key + Space). To do that, you’ll have to start the gconf-editor by typing in Configuration Editor on Gnome Do. go to /apps/gnome-do/preferences/ and change the value.

Like many other open source applicatinos, Gnome Do also supports plugins which can be used to add, or enhance built-in functions. A handful of plugins are available currently. Expect more to arrive as Gnome Do develops.

One that I’ve just began to use is the Tweet Plugin that posts status updates to Twitter. Many other plugins can be found in the official wiki

How to install Plugins

To install a plugin, drop the downloaded .dll file in the ~/.local/share/gnome-do/plugins/ where ~ is your home directory path.

If you’ve got any questions, or willing to participate in the project, go to the LaunchPad site.

Have your Say in the comments.

Written by Killer Tech Tips

March 23rd, 2008 at 9:42 pm

Posted in linux

Tagged with , ,

  • http://techmalaya.com Syahid A.

    Looks like widgets to me. Am I right?

  • http://www.techzilo.com Sumesh

    Wow, the graphics look snazzy. I’ll try it out as soon as I can hack my stupid modem to work with Ubuntu.

  • http://www.shankarganesh.com Shankar Ganesh

    @Syahid: Nopes, it’s not a widget. It’s a program launcher. You press a shortcut key combo – it pops up – you type in something like ‘fire’ – it suggests Firefox – you press enter – it opens up. Saves you time.

    @Sumesh: Yep, the UI is really very well polished. Good luck with your Ubuntu journey ;)

  • http://www.reviewsaurus.com Reviewsaurus

    Ah! looks like quicksilver of mac or my fav. program Key Launch in windows.

  • http://www.shankarganesh.com Shankar Ganesh

    @ReviewSaurus: Yup, it’s a clone of QuickSilver ;)

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  • http://pintooo15.livejournal.com Diabolic Preacher

    is there not a way to set this up for someone from commandline. most steps here depend on the GUI. and win key may not always be present…esp. on laptops. and other launchers all default to using Alt-Space… why does gnome do have to remind us of Windows!! with using the Win key?

  • Joey Cagle

    Diabolic Preacher – yes there is a way. I can’t remember how to do it off the top of my head, but google “Gnome Do” and you should be able to find the Gnome Do web site. I recall seeing instructions on how to set it up from the command line on the site.

  • holto

    just change the hotkey to launch it if you dont have a super key

  • TenSigh

    Question; I have Gnome-do running and I like it, but it has a bunch of stuff that I don’t want; I have icons for Kig, Qucs, Tali, xine, Vuze, xPDF, etc. I don’t use these regularly (or in some cases, at all). I can’t seem to find a way to get rid of them. Any clues?

  • abumaia

    TenSigh: To get rid of an icon from Gnome-Do, just drag them off of it, and they go poof.