I'm trying out Gnome Shell in 11.04. You can push the "activities" key to get into the overview where you can launch applications. I like the idea of the overview as an aid in switching focus, but it's too slow for just launching an application. Is Gnome Shell going to implement, or does it have, a way to launch applications (besides the alt-f2 command launcher) that is as quick as Gnome-do?

edit: To be clear, I'm aware of several Gnome application launchers. I'm curious about the Gnome Shell and any packages it includes (not add-ons like Gnome-do or Synapse).

  • Well Gnome Shell fallback has a non-fullscreen , old school menu, i'm sure there is an extension for the Shell like the new Mint menu to name one, which allows you to have a regular menu IN Gnome Shell. – Uri Herrera Nov 28 '11 at 2:03

Try Synapse.

It requires zeitgeist, and offers some very useful features, such as quick keyboard shortcuts, plugins, themes, etc.

In response to your edit: no, they will not implement it, so you need to use something else.

  • Looks cool, but not really relevant. – Jeff Jul 20 '11 at 0:43
  • 1
    @Jeff I didn't notice the last line of your question sorry. However, it is relevant, because your last requirement cannot be fulfilled, so find something else. – RolandiXor Jul 20 '11 at 14:42

The closest I can think of is that you can pin applications to the dock on the left side in the Windows section of the Overview. AFAIK, GNOME Shell doesn't have a built-in GNOME-Do equivalent...in fact, I think its inclusion was once suggested to the developers and they turned it down in favor of using the Overview.


For using the activities overview quicky, there are a couple tricks you might like. First, to open an application without closing the overview, drag and drop it to a workspace instead of clicking it directly. Also, the shell has been designed to make searching really efficient, so as soon as you click the Activities button or hit the Super key, you can start typing! I can open gedit almost instantly, for example, by pressing Super, then "ge" and Enter.

You might like the dock extension for Gnome Shell. To install it, the people at WebUpd8 have a repository with a bunch of Gnome Shell extensions, including the dock.

To add their repository, open a terminal and type the following:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/gnome3
sudo apt-get update

And then, to install the extension, type:

sudo apt-get install gnome-shell-extensions-dock

To enable the extension, first you need to restart Gnome Shell. To do that really quickly, press Alt+F2, type r and press Enter. Now open Gnome Tweak Tool (you may need to install that from Software Centre), head to the Shell Extensions section and turn on the Dock Extension! It will appear on the right side of the screen.

You can configure some basic settings for the dock in dconf. Open dconf-editor (again, you might need to install it) and, on the left, go to /org/gnome/shell/extensions/dock. From there you can choose the side of the screen the dock lives on, its size, and whether it autohides.

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

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