I was a unity user back when the Unity Desktop Environment was still a thing in Ubuntu. I liked the feature that when I press the alt key by itself, I could get a search bar used to search in the application menubar. This feature is called HUD (Head Up Display). I use the global menu widget under my KDE install, and I wonder if there is a way to search inside menu just like in Unity. Thanks for trying to help out.

Currently, my only way is to sudo apt install unity -y, which is not an alternative.

  • The left windows (super) key opens a search bar in gnome – Graham Oct 20 '19 at 11:50
  • I am actually taking about Plasma, and about searching in menus. The gnome search doesn’t search in menu. Anyway, I really appreciate you for taking part of this question. – Andrew Oct 20 '19 at 11:52
  • The Ubuntu Mate edition incorporated this feature (as an option). However, indeed, also Plasma should support a HUD function. – vanadium Oct 20 '19 at 11:59

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You will need to have either global menu widget enabled, or have app menu button in the titlebar.

  • To install the dependencies, run
sudo apt install rofi python3 python3-dbus python3-setproctitle python3-xlib gir1.2-gtk-3.0
sudo apt install appmenu-qt
sudo apt install appmenu-gtk2-module appmenu-gtk3-module
  • Download the source code:
git clone https://github.com/Zren/plasma-hud
cd plasma-hud
  • Use the following commands to install the files
sudo mkdir -p /usr/lib/plasma-hud
sudo cp usr/lib/plasma-hud/plasma-hud /usr/lib/plasma-hud/
sudo mkdir -p /etc/xdg/autostart
sudo cp etc/xdg/autostart/plasma-hud.desktop /etc/xdg/autostart/
  • Log out and log in.

  • Run the following two commands one by one to bind the Alt keys to HUD.

kwriteconfig5 --file ~/.config/kwinrc --group ModifierOnlyShortcuts --key Alt "com.github.zren.PlasmaHUD,/PlasmaHUD,com.github.zren.PlasmaHUD,toggleHUD"
qdbus org.kde.KWin /KWin reconfigure

This answer was based on the README of this project.

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