I heard about the Ask Ubuntu Unity Lens over in the chat, and I was wondering how to install it. What are the step-by-step instructions to get it installed, activated and once that's done, how do I use it?
The Ask Ubuntu Lens is a way to search askubuntu.com via your desktop in Unity. You can search for anything on the site. Questions, tags, users, and badges all show up in the search results and then it will take you here.
Depending on your Ubuntu version:
For 12.10 and above
In 12.10 and above, the Ask Ubuntu Lens is now just a scope of the Help lens, to summon it with a keyboard shortcut use Super-H.
For 12.04 or 11.10:
You can install the Ask Ubuntu Unity Lens via the Software Centre by clicking below:
You will need to log out and log back in for the lens to show up and work correctly.
You can install the Ask Ubuntu Unity Lens via a PPA
Just open up a terminal window and enter the above commands. Then, you need to log out and log back (or run
You can click on the Ask Ubuntu icon on your launcher (for 11.04), or inside your dash in 12.04 and 11.10. To get a fully expanded lens or you can hit the Super-U keyboard shortcut to summon the lens, then ask your question:
12.04 & 11.10 version:
You can also right click on the icon and get a quicklist of different sub searches if you only want to search for a specific thing:
You can find more info here.
There are a few special searches you can do. Search for
You can also use the Lens to search any other stackexchange site via @-modifiers. An example search would be:
Where @so is short for stack overflow. This is (at the time of writing) the complete list of available sites:
Note that the lens will auto-update this list every time you re-boot, so, after your favourite beta site has been launched, it should appear soon.
Now that we have scopes, you can just click "Filter Results" and select another Stack Exchange network site.