Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

`Albert` is a relatively new quick launcher for Linux, which might remind you of Alfred (Mac) or Synapse (Linux). Using it, you can quickly launch applications, open files or perform web searches.

Albert quick launcher

Albert features:
  • run applications;
  • open files;
  • open Chromium bookmarks (Firefox is on the todo list);
  • calculate math expressions;
  • search the web;
  • the modules are configurable: you can add/remove web searches, configure which files it should index, etc.;
  • supports fuzzy search (not enabled by default - it can be enabled individually for each module);
  • you can modify the actions taken by pressing the modifier keys;
  • configurable hotkey, maximum history, maximum number of proposals, subtext for selected/unselected item, etc.
  • ships with 3 themes by default.

What makes Albert special is that it's very fast, lightweight and desktop environment agnostic (it's based on Qt5, written in C++), so you can use it with whatever DE you want: Xfce, LXDE, LXQt, Cinnamon, Unity (if you don't like the Dash) and so on.

Here are a few more Albert screenshots:

Albert quick launcher
Pinboard theme

Albert quick launcher
Android theme

Albert quick launcher

Albert quick launcher

To see Albert in action, check out its GitHub page (there's a gif which demonstrates how Albert works).

Note that Albert is currently in alpha and so you may encounter bugs! In my test, I've only encountered one issue (reported here): initially, Albert used about 9-10 MB of RAM on my system but after I've set it to index some folders that contain a large number of files (about 280,000), its memory usage increased to about 280-300 MB. So for now, don't add folders containing a huge number of files to its FileIndex module!

If you encounter other issues, report them @ GitHub.

Install Albert quick launcher in Ubuntu or Linux Mint

To install Albert quick launcher in Ubuntu (15.04, 14.10 or 14.04) or Linux Mint (17.1 or 17) and derivatives, you can use the main WebUpd8 PPA. Add the PPA and install Albert using the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install albert

If you don't want to add the PPA, you can download the debs from HERE.

For other Linux distributions, grab the Albert source code from GitHub.

Note that there's no option in Albert's settings to make it run automatically when you login, so you must add it to your startup applications manually.

Thanks to Felix for the tip!