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This question already has an answer here:

I'm switching over from Windows to Ubuntu, and I want to know how to get the functionality of Windows Run dialog in Ubuntu.

In Windows, I just go to the Start button, and enter in the search field run, and the Run dialog pops up. I mainly use this program to connect to servers in my network by typing \\ + the name of the server.

screenshot showing run dialog

How do I replicate this functionality in Ubuntu? Do I use the command line? I've read elsewhere about an old GNOME program called "Run" that I can get by installing the Compizconfig Settings Manager, but I don't know if this is what I want.

marked as duplicate by muru command-line Apr 4 '17 at 6:46

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Regarding recently removed material: For information about what the Run... dialog in Windows does under the hood, I recommend posting somewhere like Super User. – Eliah Kagan Sep 2 '13 at 22:48
  • @ShaharilAhmad Please post that as an answer. – ignis Dec 13 '13 at 12:34
  • @ignis answer below. – Shaharil Ahmad Jan 12 '14 at 19:23
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I believe that the equivalent of windows "Run" dialog is Alt+F2.

In most Linux systems this will popup a dialog waiting for a command. In the latest versions of Ubuntu, the Dash will open asking you for a command to run.

Of course, you can use a terminal for commands as well. You can open one using Ctrl+Alt+T.

I believe that things like the run dialog in Windows and Alt+F2 in Linux exist as GUI replacements of the terminal, for simple commands that do not have their own desktop launcher in Windows or desktop file in Linux.

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You can check this website out for a starter,

1) Terminal

2) Command Line Resources

3) Useful commands in Ubuntu

Thank you @ignis @almel

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At the risk of hijacking this thread, and since I am not yet allowed to comment on the above answer, I will expand on this question here. IMHO, Dash does not replicate the function of the Windows Run dialog. In particular, if I don't know which application to use with a particular file type, I can enter a file specification in the Windows Run dialog, and windows will (usually) open the file in the appropriate application. Also, if I enter a directory path in the Windows Run dialog, Windows will display that directory in Explorer. How can I best accomplish such tasks in Linux (Ubuntu)?

P.S. Since this is billed as an answer, I can at least add one answer which I have found for the first task mentioned above (thanks to this thread). It isn't quite as convenient as the Windows Run dialog, however:

  1. Open a terminal window (e.g. by typing Ctrl-Alt-T)
  2. At the command prompt, type:

    xdg-open <filespec>
    
  3. The file specified in <filespec> should open in the appropriate application.
  • For me (under Ubuntu 12.04), exo-open returns: The program 'exo-open' is currently not installed. whereas xdg-open works witout requiring any additional installation. – R B Dec 13 '13 at 12:37

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