Looking for an application launcher that looks good and is intuitive to use for your Linux PC? Wishing applications, bookmarks, and settings were accessible at the touch of your fingers? Consider checking out Gnome-Pie on Linux. It can handle pretty much everything from application shortcuts, to browser bookmarks, multimedia controls and even session settings (logging in, out, etc).
Let’s be clear: the Gnome-Pie app isn’t the first stand-alone application launcher that promises to make your Linux desktop easier to navigate. However, it’s stellar design, and ease of use make it one of the best. To install it, follow the instructions below.
Gnome-Pie has a few methods of installation: Ubuntu PPA, Arch Linux AUR package and from source. In this guide, we’ll focus on all three methods of installation.
Note: even though Debian and Ubuntu are similar, Debian will not work with the Gnome-Pie PPA. Instead, users looking to install Gnome-Pie on Debian should follow the “generic instructions”.
The Gnome-Pie app has a dedicated PPA for Ubuntu users to use. Installing the program this way is the ideal method for installation, as the PPA offers immediate updates via the updater tool. To add the Gnome-Pie PPA, open a terminal and use the add-apt-repository command.
Note: Gnome-Pie PPA not working for you? Consider following the Debian instructions as an alternative.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:simonschneegans/testing
With the Gnome-Pie PPA added to Ubuntu, you’ll need to run the update command. Running the updater will refresh all software sources for Ubuntu. If you skip this step, Gnome-Pie will not install correctly.
sudo apt update
Ubuntu’s software sources are up to date. The next step in the installation process is to run the upgrade command. This command will install any system upgrades that the update command finds.
sudo apt upgrade -y
Now that your system is up to date, it’s safe to install the Gnome-Pie app launcher to Ubuntu.
sudo apt install gnome-pie
Arch Linux users are lucky when it comes to Gnome-Pie. There’s no need to download the source code and install things manually. Instead, the entire process is easy, thanks to the AUR.
Getting the Gnome-Pie AUR files is done with Git. Unfortunately, most Arch Linux installations don’t have the git package by default. Instead, you’ll need to install it yourself. To do this open up a terminal and enter the following command.
sudo pacman -S git
Use the Git tool to grab the latest AUR snapshot of Gnome-Pie.
git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/gnome-pie-git.git
CD into the snapshot folder.
Generate a new Gnome-Pie Arch Linux package and install it to the system with makepkg
Note: building AUR packages by hand helps, as it allows the users to take a look at the code and understand what is going on. However, installing by hand means that some dependencies do not install automatically. If this happens, you will need to manually install them here.
Generic Linux instructions
Gnome-Pie works on virtually every Linux distribution, though the developer doesn’t make any distribution specific packages available for Linux OSes aside from Ubuntu/Debian, so the majority of people looking to install it will need to build it from source.
To start building, open up a terminal and install the dependencies required to compile correctly.
sudo apt-get install git build-essential libgtk-3-dev libcairo2-dev libappindicator3-dev libgee-0.8-dev libxml2-dev libxtst-dev libgnome-menu-3-dev valac cmake libwnck-3-dev libarchive-dev libbamf3-dev bamfdaemon
sudo dnf install cmake make automake gcc gcc-c++ vala gtk3-devel libwnck3-devel libgee-devel libxml2-devel libXtst-devel gnome-menus-devel libarchive-devel bamf-devel git
sudo zypper install cmake make automake gcc gcc-c++ vala gtk3-devel libwnck3-devel git libgee-devel libxml2-devel libXtst-devel gnome-menus-devel libarchive-devel bamf-devel
Gnome-Pie doesn’t have dependency commands ready for every Linux distribution. As a result, those looking to use the app on obscure Linux distributions must do their own research. Check out this page, read through the Debian/Fedora dependencies and determine the packages you need for your own distribution.
With the dependencies taken care of, grab the source code, and use the commands below to build and install it.
git clone git://github.com/Simmesimme/Gnome-Pie.git cd Gnome-Pie ./make.sh cd build sudo make install
Now that you’ve installed Gnome-Pie on Linux, it’s ready to use. There are many ways to launch it but the fastest (and easiest) way to start it is with a command.
Press Alt + F2, type “gnome-pie” and press enter on the keyboard to start the app. Launching Gnome-Pie with this command will keep it running in the background. From here, you’ll be able to access your “slices” (aka shortcut launchers).
To access the session pie, press the following key combination:
Ctrl + Alt + Q
Access the Alt-Tab slice with:
Ctrl + Alt + T
Need to access the multi-media slice with Gnome-Pie? Press:
Ctrl + Alt + M
Ctrl + Alt + A
Lastly, press Ctrl + Alt + Space for the “main menu” slice, and Ctrl + Alt + B for the browser bookmark one.
Create Custom Pies
As useful as the default pie launchers in Gnome-Pie are, they don’t do everything. Luckily, the app lets users make their own custom launchers.
To make a new custom launcher, right-click on the system tray and select “preferences”. In the preferences window, click the + sign. Clicking this option will create a new, custom pie launcher.
Go through the slice creation process, enter the name in “new pie,” select a shape, and select “not bound” to apply a new keyboard shortcut. When that’s all done, click “OK”.
Now that the new pie has been created, it’s time to add items to it. In the preferences area, look for the new pie and select it.
Click the green plus sign to add items to your custom pie. When you’re satisfied with all of the new slices on the custom pie, close the application menu.