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Launchy : Application Launcher for Linux

Launchy is a popular application launcher , that has been available for windows for quite some time now, recently they launched the Linux version of their application . Launchy is a application launcher that allows you to launch applications , open documents , webpages even search Google or get weather information, just by typing into a centrally located textbox on the desktop. As you type text in the textbox , Launchy tries to guess what you are trying to type(name of application you are trying to start , or document's name).

Launchy trying to guess Application , you want to run.

Launchy is very similar in functionality to Open Source "Gnome DO" file manager which i had reviewed few months back(Read the article here) and Quicksilver application available for Mac OS. Launchy has an attractive user interface , which can be further customized with number of themes available online. Furthermore , compared to GNOME Do , Launchy has much smaller memory footprint.

Right Clicking anywhere in Launchy's windows gives you options to Customize launchy further(like changing default theme of launchy , or changing the file type and location where to scan) or Rescan Catalog .

Customizing Launchy

Launchy with different themes

Installing Launchy

Launchy is available as Source code or debian package . If you are using any non debian distribution like Fedora , OpenSuse etc you would need to compile the package to install Launchy. However , if you are using Ubuntu (or any other debian based distribution) you can install Launchy easily by following the below mentioned steps:

First launch Terminal windows from (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal) and issue the following command to download and install launchy:


sudo dpkg -i launchy_2.1.2-1_i386.deb

If you did not encounter any error in above step , launchy should be properly installed. To start Launchy click on (Applications -> Accessories -> Launchy ).

Now, to show Launchy on desktop press (Cntrl + Space) , you should get Launchy's window in the center of the desktop.
Launchy located centrally on my Ubuntu desktop

Article Written by : Ambuj Varshney (
For Desktop on Linux Blog ,
(C) 2008 , Ambuj Varshney


  1. Anonymous8:00 AM

    How does it compare with Gnome-Do though?
    Gnome-Do is the more senior on the Linux platform but how long has launchy been around for Windows?

    I would like to consider Launchy but just want to make sure it's as mature as Gnome-Do (I'm not a big fan of a lot of Mono-based apps due to the saber rattlings of M$ and the whole .Net patent possibilities).

    Thanks for the article though.

  2. Anonymous9:39 AM

    Launchy is really great! Thanks for the tip!


  3. Another great app in the same genre is GNOME DO. ( It allows to install different plug ins, which provides you to better integrate your GNOME desktop to

    - Search within Google services (Gmail, Calendar, Contacts)
    - Post on your twitter account.
    - be notified of your twitter timeline
    - Gives a MAC OS like Docky.

    It really punches a pack where launchy fails. Btw, I have used launchy in Windows and found it very good for windows. For Linux, especially Ubuntu, GNOME DO is really good.

  4. Andrew12:47 AM

    I've been using this application on Windows for several years and can personally vouch for it's efficiency if it works like it does on Windows. A GREAT time saver!


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