There are various application launchers that can be used on Ubuntu, each of which has its own characteristics and taste. There are for example graphical application launchers like Cairo Dock or AWN (Avant Window Navigator), and some other contextual app launcher like Synapse.

Today we will see another application launcher that can be used side by side with Ubuntu Unity. It's called Gnome-Pie, an application launcher that proved to be versatile, fast, and configurable.

Gnome-Pie Installation

To install Gnome-Pie on Ubuntu 11.10/11.04, open the terminal and issue these commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:simonschneegans/testing
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gnome-pie

Start it now using the Unity dash:

Once started, the preferences window will pop up. The Gnome-Pie's icon will be displayed in the system tray. Accessing the preferences window will allow you to configure basic and advanced settings for Gnome-Pie. The General tab will allow you to select a theme to change the look of your application launcher, make Gnome-Pie open automatically at system startup, etc.

The Pies tab allows to add/remove app from your application launcher, :

Once you finsih configuring Gnome-Pie, you can use these keyboard shortcuts to open the different categories:

  • CTRL+ALT+W: Window

  • CTRL+ALT+A: Applications

  • CTRL+ALT+Q: Session

  • CTRL+ALT+Space: Main Menu

  • CTRL+ALT+B: Bookmarks

  • CTRL+ALT+M: Multimedia

The Gnome-Pie project is still experimental, so you may get some bugs while using it. For more information about this project, see this page.

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