Application launchers have long been a popular application for some users. For instance, the one that comes with Apple Mac OSX. Although in a way every shortcut is sort of an application launcher but a dedicated one does make managing apps easy for you nonetheless.
Starting with Unity, Ubuntu also has an application launcher of its own called “Dash”. Personally I have mixed feelings about these sort of utilities but again, they can be useful to some users.
Simon Schneegans has decided to follow a different approach and create an application launcher that uses a somewhat different philosophy and it’s called Gnome-Pie. This launcher, unlike entering program names in order to launch, Gnome-Pie lets you launch apps from a category based window, which is called a “Pie” and by using the master shortcut you can open ‘Gnome-Pie’ anywhere on your desktop.
To get a better understanding, have a look at the below screenshot.
*. When you install it, it comes with some predefined application categories (such as text editors, multimedia apps etc). But you can always add or remove any time you want.
*. Change the master keyboard shortcuts according to your preference.
*. When you press a shortcut, it displays a pie (in a circular manner) near your mouse pointer location (can be disabled) and moves with it too.
*. Adds the Main Gnome desktop by default.
*. Transparency and other few 3D rendering effects.
*. Few built in themes.
*. Integrates well with both Unity 2D & 3D desktop modules.
*. Control desktop Log out-in functions.
*. Built in Windows related functions: Maximize, Minimize, Show desktop, etc.
*. Access main functions via the notification icon.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:simonschneegans/testing
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install gnome-pie
Although it needs a reasonable amount of system resources (CPU and GPU specifically) for those rendering effects I suppose… certainly not a resources hog though … but having installed the proper GPU drivers should also help. Well, that’s all I have to say about that ;-).