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?
    – steoiatsl
    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?
    – Woeitg
    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

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.