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I just got a new, strong ubuntu desktop. First time linux user.

I'm trying the Run Application app ( Alt+F2 ), try "Ch" for Chrome, and the app thinks for 2-3 seconds before displaying the list of apps starting with "ch". This is semi-consistent - some searches are a bit faster, then they're slower again afterwards. What's up with that?

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(I wanted to write this as a comment, but it got too long... and I like screenshots)

I've found XFCE's run dialog far superior to that of GNOME. It's available from xfce4-utils package, and the binary is called xfrun4. I assigned it a keyboard shortcut, Alt+F2, replacing GNOME default.

enter image description here

The reason why it's going to be much faster is because it doesn't do bash completion (or whatever GNOME's uses). It just checks it's own history (which will be far smaller).

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This method works is pretty slow on Gnome. I use Gnome-do, which is fast as hell and really extensible. I don't remember the last time I navigated though menus to launch an app. Plus it comes with awesome plugins with which you can do stuff like mount volumes, play music, search files and a lot of cool stuff.

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When hitting Alt+F2, the dialog was very slow for me too, but apparently for another reason.

there is a bug with xfrun4 (detailed here: https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/xfce4-appfinder/+bug/1048805 )

Here is the workaround: xfrun4 must be run with option --disable-server. So I just changed the shorcut binding to xfrun4 --disable-server

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