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?


7 Answers 7


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

  • 1
    I checked gmrun and like it very much, thanks.
    – fschmitt
    Sep 29, 2010 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.


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

a few screenshots:



  • bashrun2 is much better.
    – qed
    Jul 30, 2013 at 14:13

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


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


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

  • Gnome-Do is dead, isn't it? Synapse and Kupfer seem to be leading the field now, I believe.
    – simon
    Apr 4, 2011 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.

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