Mate and Gnome Session Fallback desktop environments are almost alike and really lightweight and it is the most preferred desktop environment for me.

Only thing I miss is some way to search installed applications quickly as we do using Unity-Dash. Since going through the Application menu and looking for the long list of installed application takes a long time. Some time it is so difficult to find an application. For example looking for PCManFM file manager, you guys know what I'm talking about. :)

Is there any Application Finder which can be installed in Mate and/or Gnome Session Fallback to search and launch installed application quickly?

up vote 6 down vote accepted

You probably are seraching for gnome-do application. It's easy simple and cute app for esearching for items, files and other apps in your system, and many other utilities.

Simply install it by sudo apt-get install gnome-do enter image description here

You can also give a try for kupfer and synapse

To install Kupfer

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kupfer-team/ppa && sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install kupfer

enter image description here

To install Synapse

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:synapse-core/ppa && sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install synapse

enter image description here


  • Thanks for your great answer. I've tried almost all and found synapse is the best one. In between I also got one application finder which is meant for XFCE but works great for all other desktop environment. Your answer will definitely help others as well :) – Saurav Kumar Feb 6 '14 at 10:40
  • Its my pleasure to be helpful friend – Maythux Feb 6 '14 at 11:24

Application Finder apps suggest by maythux are simply great and few are really recommended.

In between I also got one application finder : xfce4-appfinder which comes with XFCE desktop environment. But it is standalone application finder and doesn't require any additional package of XFCE.

To install it simply execute this command:

sudo apt-get install xfce4-appfinder

One single package will be installed silently and would work for all desktop environments.

Here is my image:


Update (19-Jan-2017):

I used Synapse for almost 3 years and recently switched to Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. Sad to say that it's core repository no more available to install. Couldn't find any way to install in 16.04 so far.

Though I found an another nice Application Launcher albert for Ubuntu 16.04. Here are the steps to install albert launcher:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:flexiondotorg/albert
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install albert

Enjoy :)

  • can you re-upload that picture? – endolith Apr 16 '16 at 22:28
  • @endolith: Thanks for notifying me about the broken image.. :) – Saurav Kumar Apr 18 '16 at 9:45

What you need is Synapse:

Synapse is a semantic launcher written in Vala that you can use to start applications as well as find and access relevant documents and files by making use of the Zeitgeist engine.


sudo apt-add-repository ppa:synapse-core/testing
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install synapse

This is like Unity-Dash, and very powerful. Once running, activate it using CTRL-SPACE and start typing what you need. It uses fuzzy logic to search for applications, documents, audio, places, images, and more. ENTER and voila, you are up and running.

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