Jan 25, 2009

Some Ubuntu Kung Fu with alt+f2 (the Run Dialog)

Here's my short writeup on how to be a more effective Ubuntu GNU/Linux user by using the Run Dialog to quickly start your most favorite programs. I do it all the time.

Using the Run dialog to start xkill can get you out of a pickle. Need to take some notes in gedit real quick? Fire it up with the Run dialog. Need to connect to your Win-Neighbor? Fire up the Run dialog and enter smb://win-box/c$, and with a password - you'll walk right in.

To start the Run Dialog, simply push the alt+f2 keys simutaneously. Doing so will bring up the Run dialog box that looks like this:


To a get a program started from the Run dialog box you can either you can manually enter the command into the field provided and then click Run as shown here:



Or you can click on a program in the "Show List of Known Applications" area and then click Run as shown here:


You can run many graphical programs with the Run command, and you can even Run commands from a file or in the terminal in this fashion(this to be covered in a different article).

Here's a list of programs I typically launch from the Run command(if you have some additional ideas, please leave a comment):


Documents (Since this dir is in your home dir(~), it will open)
Pictures (Same as above)
Music (Same as above)
xkill (kill a stubborn window)
nautilus / (open / in nautilus)
gnome-terminal (terminal application)
gedit (simple text editor)
firefox google.com (load google.com into firefox)
sol (Aisle root solitaire)
gcalctool (Gnome calculator)
baobab (Disk usage analyzer)
users-admin (Users Administration)
gnome-system-log (self explanatory)


So there's just a few. You can find many more by adding an application
to the panel, right-click it, check the properties for the "command" - that will be the keyword you use in the Run command to start the program.

Congratulations on your freedom!!
Go GNU/Linux!