Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I just switched from the standard Gnome window manager to Openbox (still running inside Gnome) and like it a lot. However, now I need a new run dialog, e.g. the thing popping up when hitting Alt+F2 in Gnome. I see in the Openbox wiki, I can use the one from gnome with gnome-panel-control --run-dialog but maybe some one can recommend a better program for this?

share|improve this question
up vote 7 down vote accepted

There's probably hundreds of equally valid answers for this, but I use gmrun:

Screenshot of gmrun

It has miscellaneous useful features:

  • You can run a command in a terminal using Ctrl+Enter

  • It keeps a history of commands, so you can just keep hitting Up to cycle through them, or search through them with the standard shell mechanisms, Ctrl+R and !.

  • It also has Tab-completion:

    Screenshot of gmrun's tab complete

  • It will let you run a file directly (it knows what program to execute for that particular file type):

    Screenshot of gmrun's file running

share|improve this answer
I checked gmrun and like it very much, thanks. – fschmitt Sep 29 '10 at 8:30

Personally I use gnome-do for that kind of stuff. Yeah it's mono and some people don't like that, but if you enter a command. it runs it and when it's about running GUI applications it's a really quick way to trigger them. Since gnome-do has so many plugins, many of the actions I'd usually run via alt+F2 (like quickly mounting something) I can just do via gnome-do: I type "mo" and it already knows that I probably want to mount something and offers me the filesystems I have defined that I have not yet mounted (just as an example).

If you don't like mono there is an app called "kupfer" which does similar things written in Python, it just doesn't have all the features gnome-do has.

When I want to run "real" shell commands I tend to just open a terminal.

share|improve this answer

I had some success using bashrun. It's simple, has many features, and is very customizable.

a few screenshots:



share|improve this answer
bashrun2 is much better. – qed Jul 30 '13 at 14:13

I am using Launchy which is light weight and works really well.

share|improve this answer

I love dmenu. It's fast: instantaneous, in fact.

share|improve this answer

Gnome Do works great. The default key binding is super + space.

share|improve this answer
Gnome-Do is dead, isn't it? Synapse and Kupfer seem to be leading the field now, I believe. – simon Apr 4 '11 at 15:54

Gnome Do is probably the best, and certainly the easiest to use. Others are available such as Kupfer and Synapse.

If you are using Ubuntu, the default interface (Unity) will have one in 11.04, so you just have to wait a month and it'll be available to you.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.