I just installed lxde to boot into when laptop is using battery, but I really miss at least a simple search feature, I am used to Unity so I find myself losing too much time navigating on the menus, given that the LXDE menu is just a list with a basic categorization. I would prefer to avoid creating shortcuts everywhere if possible.

4 Answers 4


Forget about that, there's nothing like that for the LXDE menu, use Synapse.

Install it from the terminal: sudo apt-get install synapse

Synapse review with screenshots http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/2010/11/synapse-gnome-do-launcher-app-review-ubuntu

The correct, fancy name for it is semantic launcher BTW :)

Other related stuff:
Zeitgeist - indexing tool used by Synapse
Gnome Do - another launcher similar to Synapse, older

  • I can't find it in the repositories now. Is it discontinued or what?
    – 842Mono
    Jul 28, 2014 at 19:26
  • it sounds kinda heavyweight. will it run ok on old hardware (the reason i'm running lubuntu/lxde)?
    – hwjp
    Nov 26, 2014 at 13:26
  • You have to add a PPA to run synapse on Ubuntu 15.04: askubuntu.com/a/624696/34298
    – rubo77
    May 17, 2015 at 0:20
  • the zeitgeist domain that is in use has expired and been taken over by a domainer, so my worry is that all the external stuff doesn't work anymore (the externally referenced plugins). Kupfer (noted below) is more recently updated. Oct 27, 2020 at 22:41
  • When I installed synapse on my lubuntu 18.04 via terminal, I could open it but not search anything
    – ema
    Jun 9, 2021 at 10:25

Kupfer provides a simple menu searcher activated from a global keyboard shortcut.

sudo apt-get install kupfer

By default you show Kupfer using the global keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Space.


A quick video review can be found here.

  • Although your answer is 100% correct, it might also become 100% useless if that link is moved, changed, merged into another one or the main site just disappears... :-( Therefore, please edit your answer, and copy the relevant steps from the link into your answer, thereby guaranteeing your answer for 100% of the lifetime of this site! ;-) You can always leave the link in at the bottom of your answer as a source for your material...
    – Fabby
    Feb 5, 2016 at 0:34
  • Can somebody update the answer with correct link?
    – Sadegh
    Feb 18, 2016 at 9:50
  • 1
    Is there a way to make it show several results? For example typing 'chrom' and seeing Chromium and Chrome
    – golimar
    Nov 12, 2018 at 15:34

XFCE provides an excellent app finder. You can install it with

sudo apt-get install xfce4-appfinder
  • doesn't it need the xfce4 panel in order to function?
    – user47206
    Jul 3, 2018 at 10:26
  • @cipricus It seems to need only the xfce4-appfinder and xfconf packages and some libs, total 1 MB download and 5 MB installed
    – golimar
    Nov 12, 2018 at 15:42
  • @golimar - Thanks. No need for such tools in 18.10.
    – user47206
    Nov 12, 2018 at 16:02

Lubuntu 18.10 with LXQt desktop has two search tools by default:

  • The Applications Menu

enter image description here

  • The Runner (lxqt-runner)

enter image description here

Their shortcuts are configurable, including the "Super" key; under Preferences>LXQt Settings>LXQt Configurations settings>Shortcut keys.

  • never heard of LXQt, is it replacing LXDE or is it an alternative?
    – golimar
    Nov 12, 2018 at 16:55
  • @golimar - Not only it is the new default desktop of Lubuntu in 18.10 and probably after that, but it represents a change also in that it is a Qt desktop. If you are interested I have posted a number of questions and answers on LXQt on both askubuntu and Unix&Linux, you can search with "cipricus" and "lxqt". If you are using Lubuntu 18.04 and want to use 18.10 I would recommend a clean re-install because of the gtk-qt discrepancies.
    – user47206
    Nov 12, 2018 at 17:15
  • @golimar - I guess it is at least as light as LXDE by default with openbox as window manager. (I prefer a more heavy customization myself, with kwin as window manager and dolphin as file manager, entailing the installation of the Plasma desktop - which I do not use, but which is installed). - The two search tools mentioned above come by default.
    – user47206
    Nov 12, 2018 at 17:24
  • @user47206 unfortunately LXQT is not "at least as light as" LXDE even as of Oct 2020. Oct 27, 2020 at 22:39

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