Fast Linux Application Launcher Ulauncher 5.3.0 Stable Released

Ulauncher fast application launcher

Ulauncher, a fast application launcher for Linux, was updated to version 5.3.0. This is the first Ulauncher stable release to support Python 3, while Python 2 was completely dropped.

Besides the migration to Python 3, Ulauncher 5.3.0 only contains bug fixes and some minor changes:

  • Change version schema. Now there's stable version and beta version
  • .db files are now stored in ~/.local/share/ulauncher
  • Fixed a bug where a result item that belongs to an extension is not automatically selected if user previously selected the same item using the same query
  • Fixed issue with skipping result items on navigating by arrow keys
  • Fixed a bug where an argument to shell commands get %s instead of the real argument
  • Potentially fixed issue with wrong window position in some desktop environments

Ulauncher is an open source application launcher for Linux that can be extended to perform various other tasks through addons. The application features fuzzy search, custom color themes, and it can browse through system directories. Under the hood, Ulauncher uses Python with GTK for the launcher user interface, and HTML/JS rendered in a Webkit frame for the preferences window.

Open it using a keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + Space by default), then type a few letters of your search query, use the Up / Down arrows to navigate through the results, and press the Enter key to launch the selected item. The Ulauncher window will close as soon as you press Enter. You may also launch an item using Alt + 1 for the first item in the Ulauncher list, Alt + 2 for the second, and so on. Don't worry if you have a typo - thanks to Ulauncher's fuzzy search, the application will figure out what you meant in most cases. Also, the launcher remembers your previous choices, automatically selecting them in the future.
It's worth noting that the application only looks in an application's .desktop file name field when looking up applications; the ability to also use the keywords and comment in search is on the todo list though.

Looking for an Ulauncher alternative that uses Qt instead, and has the ability to look up the keywords and comment fields in desktop files? You'll want to check out Albert.

There are around 70 extensions that you can use with the v2 API (Ulancher v5), that can serve various purposes like:

  • search and start VirtualBox machines
  • translate with Google Translate directly in Ulauncher
  • convert between various units
  • control the system (suspend, hibernate, reboot, etc.)
  • manage Docker containers
  • easily launch a different Chrome profile
  • clipboard manager that integrates with GPaste, CopyQ and Clipster
  • extension to integrate pass (Password Store) with Ulauncher
  • file search
  • search on DevDocs
  • currency converter
  • control the Spotify desktop app from Ulauncher
  • process killer
  • search and insert Emoji

As an example, these are screenshots of the Spotify Ulauncher extension settings, and using Ulauncher to control Spotify:

Ulauncher Spotify

Ulauncher Spotify

Download Ulauncher

There are official Ulauncher binaries for Fedora and Debian/Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based Linux distributions, including Linux Mint, Pop!_OS, and so on. There are also third-party Arch Linux packages on AUR.

Want to install Ulauncher extensions? Go to its extensions website (make sure you select Extension API version V2 near the top of the page if you use Ulauncher 5, or else the extensions won't work), click on the extension you want to install and copy its repository link that's shown to the right of the screenshot. Next, open the Ulauncher preferences, go to the Extensions tab, click Add extension, paste the extension repository URL and click Add.

For more Ulauncher themes, check out this page (the theme pages contain instructions on how to install them), but note that there aren't that many themes on that page.