I am using Ubuntu 12.04 Precise with the GNOME desktop environment. I like using the GNOME Fallback ("Classic") better than the default GNOME (i.e., better than GNOME Shell). The only thing that I miss in GNOME Fallback is the search function in the panel.

In GNOME, when you press the Super key (Windows key), you can immediately start typing the name of the application and then click on the desired application from the results shown to launch that app. I find that in "classic" GNOME, it is fully menu driven; there is no option to search for installed applications using the panel or from within the Applications menu.

I was wondering if this feature could be added to GNOME Fallback, so that instead of going by the menu, I can for example press the Super key and then type the name of the application and then launch it from the results shown.

I have only very limited exposure, am still figuring things out. Thank you.

2 Answers 2


I'm using Synapse for this.


It can search files, programs and lot more. You can bring it up with your own shortcut keys


I somehow managed to add the Search for Files option to my Places menu. I'm not sure exactly which step I took to make this work, but I'll tell you exactly what I did:

  • Install Main Menu via the Software Centre.
  • Install GNOME Desktop Utilities via the Software Centre.
  • Open your Home Folder and click: Bookmarks -> Add Bookmark. This will add a Bookmark to your 'Home Folder'.
  • Click 'Edit Bookmarks...' and click on the new 'Home Folder' bookmark.
  • Type "Search" as the name, and set the location to gnome-search-tool, instead of /home/user/.

Now after following those steps I suddenly find a Search For Files... option in my Places menu. I haven't restarted the computer yet so I don't know if it will remain after a boot, but if it does then we are in business!

Also, I did install the MATE desktop in Ubuntu, but since this is Gnome Classic "No Effects" that I am running, I doubt MATE would have any effect.

Edit: The Search for Files... option is still there after a reboot!

Edit: The following link will take you to my post on this topic at the Ubuntu Forums, where I have attached an image showing that I now have the Search for Files option:


  • Yep, if you install gnome-search-tool and then add a bookmark with the location as "gnome-search-tool", it will automagically add it as the "Search for files" option available by default in previous versions of Ubuntu. Thanks for sharing.
    – MV.
    Aug 29, 2013 at 22:40

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