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I've installed Gnome Flashback (Compiz) because I need window control buttons on the right hand side.

Really, the only thing I'm missing is a dash / lens. I'd like to be able to press the "Super" key, type "firef", hit enter, and have Firefox launch.

Is there any plugin I can use?

I read that Unity 2D could do this - but it doesn't seem to be included in 14.04

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You can set Unity to put the window buttons on the right side anyway... If you want a Dash just use normal Gnome 3... – Wilf Jul 22 '14 at 13:20
You cannot as of 14.04… – Terence Eden Jul 22 '14 at 13:36

Unity != GNOME Flashback.

You can try to use Alt+F2 to open run dialog. It will allow you to launch firefox by typing name and hitting enter.

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