There are a number of application launchers that have gained popularity among Ubuntu users. The most significant among them are Synapse and Gnome Do. Recently, a hotkey based application launcher for the Gnome desktop was released, which seems to be a potential alternative to the aforementioned apps. Gnome Pie is a skinable application launcher with a glossy user interface. It has been inspired from the Opie Radial add-on for World of Warcraft game and provides separate categories for each kind of shortcuts. The numerous hotkeys display different kind of shortcuts to launch favorite folders, applications, to control media playback and to log out, shutdown or restart the computer. Gnome Pie is compatible with both Unity and Gnome.
Gnome Pie can be installed from the below given PPA. This PPA is usable with Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot and Ubuntu 11.04.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:simonschneegans/testing
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gnome-pie
Once installed, you can launch Gnome Pie from the system tray menu via “Preferences”.
General tab in “Preferences” provides options to auto start Gnome Pie at system start up, show indicator, open pies (shortcuts) when clicked, activate slice view and to set global scale. The themes menu provides a number of skins for changing the look of Gnome Pie. The available themes include, Bright, O-Pie, Glossy, Funky, etc.
The Pie tab displays the shows the available categories and hotkeys for viewing shortcuts menu.
The available hotkey combinations include the following:
- View Application Shortcuts: Ctrl + Alt + A
- Space and windows: Ctrl + Alt + W
- View Bookmarks: Ctrl + Alt + B
- Control Media: Ctrl+Alt+M
- Sessions: Ctrl+Alt+Q
- View main menu: Ctrl + Alt + A
Gnome Pie is still in early development stage and therefore, it will take it some time to becomes as good as other application launchers. For now it provides only a handful of shortcuts, but it is likely to get better soon.
Other than the PPA given above, you can also download and compile the source package from Github.