Months ago I saw a guy running commands from a small, textbox-like window, showing nothing else other than the box for you to write the command. It would popup by pressing some keyboard shortcut. Specifically, from what I remember, he was using Lubuntu, and mostly opening apps (like Chrome, Audacious, etc.).

Is it a known extension for lxde or did he most probably create it by himself?

Thanks everyone!

EDIT: some guys recommended Alt + F2, but nothing happens.


3 Answers 3


Alt + F2 worked for me (i know you suggested it didn't work for you, however its worth reinforcing for others!).

Kubuntu 15.04

  • 2
    I find it highly ironic that this accepted answer just says "use Alf+F2 even though it didn't work for you", while real solution is posted by OP in the comments. Oct 6, 2016 at 22:12
  • I was simply saying that this worked for me on the specified platform (the OP didn't give details for their platform). And if that DOES work for you then its better to try that first than the linked to answer (that said to write keybindings). The second answer that was linked to in the questions said ... wait for it ... Press Alt+F2 . And it was accepted. Your down vote now throws people off what appears to be the correct answer. Though I take your point that the OP said ALT+F2 doesn't work yet that was the ans given.
    – HankCa
    Oct 8, 2016 at 13:08
  • @Serg It's the simple fact that, though you gave more details, he answered it right first (chronologically), the fact that it was not working for me was another issue. Mar 30, 2017 at 3:02

This type of GUI for running commands is basically known as "Run" interface. It's fairly simple idea.

In the Ubuntu's Unity environment Alt+F2 allows running specific commands using the default shell, dash or Debian Amquist Shell. Of course, you have to remember that you are running commands "blindly", meaning without the STDOUT output from command or STDERR streams going. So unless you are running a GUI app, you won't know if your command failed or not.

There are tweaks for Gnome desktop environment to utilise the same keybinding as well, which if I am not mistaken , can be configured using from Gnome Tweak Tool

For blackbox desktop environment there exists bbrun package, which also does very much the same functionality.

At the very bottom of things, one could build such tool by themselves, using any programming language available or desired. For instance, here's some examples

Shell script + zenity

exec $(zenity --entry --title "Enter command" --text "") 


import javax.swing.JOptionPane;
import java.lang.Runtime;
import java.io.IOException;
public class runSomething
 public static void main(String [] args) throws IOException
  String cmd = JOptionPane.showInputDialog("Enter command:");

I think you're talking about a shell script, which has extensive help available on the internet. I'll get you started, though.

  1. Make a new text file. Don't put an extension on, or delete the one already on, if there is one.
  2. Open the file with Gedit.
  3. Now, at the top line, write !#/bin/bash.
  4. The lines below are where you put your commands, one per line. Make sure to include sudo before if the commands require it.
  5. Save the file and then go into its properties.
  6. Under the Permissions tab, check the Is Executable option, so that it can be run.
  7. Now, this depends on what type of Ubuntu you're using (Lubuntu, Xubuntu, Kubuntu, Unity, etc.), but in System Settings, there will be a place to assign keyboard shortcuts to programs. Here, make the shortcut you want and type the path to the location of your script. Comment your flavor below and I'll give more specific instructions.

Example File (Opens Unity's Preferences app):

  • I'm using Lubuntu 14.04.2 LTS! Thanks a lot! May 19, 2015 at 1:35
  • You might be right, but I feel like he was just running commands as if he was in terminal, not running scripts. May 19, 2015 at 1:38
  • That's what a script does. May 19, 2015 at 1:48
  • I'm sorry, but I have to give instructions tomorrow. You're welcome to look up how to assign keyboard shortcuts in Lubuntu, though. May 19, 2015 at 1:49

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