Fly Pie Is A GNOME Shell Launcher For Users With One Hand On The Mouse Most Of The Time

Fly Pie GNOME Shell

Fly Pie is a GNOME Shell launcher (available as an extension) designed for users who have one hand on the mouse most of the time. It can be used to launch applications, URLs, recent files, simulate hotkeys, access the clipboard, and more. It works under both X11 and Wayland.

With Fly Pie, you use a keyboard shortcut to open a menu, then use the mouse to do the rest. Once you open a menu, there are three alternative selection modes: point and click (select an item by clicking on it), marking mode (select items by drawing gestures) and turbo mode (draw gestures while holding Ctrl, Shift or Alt without having to press your mouse button).

According to the developer, Fly Pie is a marking menu, a special pie menu invented by Gordon Kurtenbach and William Buxton in 1994. Marking menus support item hierarchies and feature a special operation mode, called marking mode, which allows the items to be selected by drawing a gesture:

The main advantage of the marking mode is that you can gradually transition from a novice to an expert. At first, you will use the point-and-click selection of items. As soon as your muscles remembered the direction of particular items, you can start selecting them by clicking-and-dragging in the corresponding direction. At some point, you will be able to select items deep inside the menu hierarchy with one continuous gesture.

To go with this novice to expert marking menu learning curve, Fly Pie even includes achievements.

Fly Pie allows creating hierarchical menus using the following items:

  • Applications (all installed applications, pinned applications, frequently used applications, running applications)
  • Devices (show connected devices)
  • Bookmarks (show your frequently used directories)
  • Recent files
  • System (lock screen, shutdown, access the settings, etc.)
  • Clipboard history (text, vector images, files)
  • Custom menu, which can include actions that can simulate a key combination, insert text, launch application, open URI, open file and emit a D-BUS signal; the example menu available by default with Fly Pie demonstrates how to use these to create a window management launcher menu (e.g. minimize, maximize or close a window, and move to the next / previous workspace) or a media player control menu (next / previous song, play / pause, mute)

Fly Pie settings with live preview

The pie menus are highly configurable. You can control the icons used and their sizes, opacity, colors, and much, much more. There are also 10 built-in themes you can choose from.

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The clipboard menu has been added in the latest Fly Pie 10, released a few days ago. This release has also added better touch support, support for tablets (pen input is now well-supported), and touch buttons (a floating button which can be moved anywhere on your screen and will open the corresponding menu when activated). Check out the Fly Pie 10 release notes here. There's also a video you can watch below that showcases the latest Fly Pie 10:

Granted, mouse-driven launchers aren't for everyone. If that's the case for you, I recommend checking out a keyboard-centric launcher such as Ulauncher or Albert.

Install Fly Pie extension for GNOME Shell

Fly Pie works with GNOME Shell 41, 40, 3.38 and 3.36. After installing it, check out its first steps page.

via r/Linux