I'm running Linux Mint 18.3 MATE, though I imagine an answer to this question would easily be ported to Ubuntu or Debian.

When I'm in an application, I can hit Ctrl-O to bring up the 'Open File' dialog box, and the chosen file will open in the current program. It's the same dialog for every program.

I'd like to be able to hit Super-O to pull up this dialog and open a file from anywhere, in its default application.

I know I can go to "Menu>Keyboard Shortcuts" to run a bash script with Super-O, so is there a way to use the terminal to pull up this dialog and do xdg-open to the chosen file?

Screenshot of Open File dialog box

1 Answer 1


I'm not familiar with MATE but KDE/Plasma and Cinnamon offer Krunner and Runner which among other things allow you to quickly open files and applications. By default you can open it with Alt-F2 or Alt-Space. You might want to try these shortcuts to see if they open a similar feature in MATE. On modern versions Krunner is integrated as a search field into the application launcher. By default you can bring it up by pressing ⊞ Win. The GNOME shell offers a similar feature in its search field. I'm pretty sure MATE provides a similar feature. If it doesn't, you might be able to run them as a stand-alone program which you can open with a keyboard shortcut using MATE's central keyboard shortcut facilities.

Another option would be Ulauncher which is written in Python and strives to be lightweight. It uses GTK+ which might fit well into your MATE environment.

  • Thanks, but this doesn't answer the question. I like the desktop environment I have. May 22, 2020 at 22:20
  • Thanks for the added context! Ulauncher isn't quite what I was looking for, but it does seem to work well, I may just stick with it! May 22, 2020 at 22:47

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