Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Keystroke launching in Ubuntu with GnomeDo

A keystroke launcher is a program, hopefully a small one, that runs in the background and generally listens for a specific keystroke pattern. Once that keystroke pattern is detected, a graphical box will pop up where you can enter in the name of a file or program to run. While the launcher is sitting in the background of the system waiting for the keystroke pattern that brings it forward it will index the system. Each different launcher works a bit differently and the indexing options will be a bit different.

For Ubuntu, the one I am using is GNOME Do. This launcher is inspired by the Mac only Quicksilver, which is widely considered to be the benchmark of keystroke launchers and the one I use on that platform. For Windows, the one I use is Launchy, which is also available for Linux. To install GNOME Do, start by adding these lines to your "/etc/apt/sources.list" file:
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/do-core/ppa/ubuntu intrepid main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/do-core/ppa/ubuntu intrepid main
Next, run these commands at the Terminal:
  1. gpg --no-default-keyring --keyring /tmp/gnome-do.keyring --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv A5D19FDCAA6ABB440CD3464628A8205077558DD0
  2. gpg --no-default-keyring --keyring /tmp/gnome-do.keyring --export --armor A5D19FDCAA6ABB440CD3464628A8205077558DD0 | sudo apt-key add -
Update your repository information and install the package:
sudo aptitude update
sudo aptitude install gnome-do
You can launch the application by going to Applications>Accessories>GNOME Do. Play around with the options and see what works best for you.

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