Kyle Rankin

There are many different ways to launch applications on a Linux system. For the longest time, I would alternate between the menu system that came with my window manager and typing the application in a terminal. Honestly, I found that half the time it was faster to launch an application inside a terminal than it was to navigate through a system of menus. At some point in my desktop use, I decided to give the default Ubuntu GNOME desktop a try. GNOME presents at least four main ways to launch applications:

1. Navigate the Applications menu at the top of the screen and find your program.

2. Copy frequently launched applications to the desktop and launch them from the desktop.

3. Copy frequently launched applications to the panel and launch them from the panel.

4. Press Alt-F2 to bring up a command window where you can type the command and press Enter.

I tried each of the four main ways, but I guess I'm a creature of habit, because ultimately, I found myself back to my old ways. When I wanted to launch a program, nine times out of ten, I just would go to an open terminal and type in the command from there. Every now and then, I would navigate the Applications menu. That was my habit, until I discovered GNOME Do. Now I've found I use GNOME Do when I launch the majority of my applications and use a keyboard shortcut, or occasionally, the terminal, for the rest. I don't really even need or use the Applications menu anymore.

Welcome to GNOME Do

GNOME Do is an application launcher tool inspired by the Quicksilver and GNOME Launch Box applications. It is available either as a package in your distribution or you can download the program from the official project page (do.davebsd.com). You launch GNOME Do in the background along with your desktop environment, and then press Super-Space to open the GNOME Do window when you want to launch an application (Super is the Windows key on many keyboards). After the window appears, type part of the name for an application; for instance, to open Firefox, type firefox. You will notice that the moment you press the F key, GNOME Do chooses an application or other result and refines it as you type. You might need to type only fi for Firefox to be displayed (Figure 1). In most cases, there also are alternate choices for your keyword, which you can reveal and select with the up and down arrows (Figure 2).

GNOME Do is a learning program, and as you use it, you will notice that it selects results based on your favorite,

Figure 1. GNOME Do with Firefox Selected

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Firefox Web Browser

V* Browse the World Wide Web

Frets on Fire

Rock out with vour keyboard

Browse the World Wide Web fr 7/117

Firefox Web Browser

V* Browse the World Wide Web

Frets on Fire

Rock out with vour keyboard

® ReeCell Solitaire

Play the popular FreeCell card game

Efreshmeat.net

http://freshmeat.net/

Bf Frozen-Bubble

J Pop out the bubbles !

User Friendly

Figure 2. Alternate Keyword Choices

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