Default application launcher on almost all Linux distributions limits itself to only searching and launching apps installed on your system.
But if you want your app launcher to do more than what it can offer, Ulauncher is a Linux productivity software that you should check out right now.
Ulauncher: More Than Application Launcher
Ulauncher is a completely free and open-source application launcher for Linux-based OS. It is written in Python, using the GTK+ toolkit for GUI.
It is also simple and lightweight available for almost all Linux desktop environments such as GNOME, KDE, and Xfce.
If you use macOS, you’ll find it familiar with the default Spotlight or popular third-party app launcher like Alfred.
Search App Using Ulauncher
Once you install and launch the app, you can use the default hotkey
CTRL + Space to activate it, i.e., show input box to search.
The app gives instant search results by using fuzzy matching. What it means is that Ulauncher shows related results even if you type the wrong spelling of the application name.
In case you want Ulauncher to skip searching some directories, you can add the absolute path of a directory to a Blacklisted App Dirs.
Search File System
Beyond app search, if you start typing with
/, it will let you browse files and directories, and navigate as well.
Use Shortcuts For Query Or Script
Ulauncher also supports web search directly through its own input box. By default, it comes with three fallback search with its shortcuts.
so– Stack Overflow
Want to search YouTube or add shortcuts for scripts? You can also create a custom shortcut for web search or your scripts.
Change Color Themes
Ulauncher comes with four built-in themes: Adwaita, Elementary Light, Elementary Dark, and Ubuntu.
If you want to try more themes like Arc Dark, Mint-Y-Dark, Dracula, and Pop!_OS, you can find it here contributed by other people.
To install new themes, you only need to do is clone the repository to
git clone https://github.com/yerbestpal/ambiant-mate-ulauncher-theme.git ~/.config/ulauncher/user-themes/ambiant-mate-ulauncher-theme
Didn’t like any of the themes? you can also create your own custom color theme by overriding the existing one. You can follow the steps given here.
Add Functionality Using Extensions
To make Ulauncher more powerful and feature-rich, it allows adding extensions. Extensions are basically Python 3 programs that run as a separate process along with the app.
Tons of third-party extensions are available that you can add to perform more functions directly using Ulauncher.
If some extension crashes after installing it, you might need to add dependencies it requires.
Aren’t you able to find a suitable extension for your need? You can create your own extension using Python.
How To Install Ulauncher On Linux?
The easiest way to install Ulauncher is to download its Debian or RPM packages and install by double-clicking (if you have a GUI package installer). Or you can run the following command:
For Debian or Ubuntu-based,
sudo apt install ./package-name
sudo dnf install ./package-name
Ulauncher is also available in AUR repository for Arch Linux.
git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/ulauncher.git && cd ulauncher && makepkg -is