Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

`Albert`, a quick launcher for Linux, has received quite a few updates lately, fixing many of the bugs you may have encountered in the early versions, along with other changes.

Albert allows you to quickly run applications, open files or bookmarks (Chromium only), search the web, calculate and more. The application is inspired by Alfred (Mac), is written in C++ and based on the Qt framework, and it's desktop environment agnostic so you can use it with any desktop environment.

Albert features:
  • launch applications;
  • open files;
  • open Chromium bookmarks;
  • calculate math expressions;
  • search the web in your default web browser (it ships with various built-in search engines such as Google, YouTube, Amazon, Ebay, GitHub and Wolfram Alpha and you can easily add more);
  • configurable hotkey and maximum number of items to display;
  • ships with 5 themes by default.

Since our initial article about Albert, the application has received quite a few changes:
  • implemented a plugin system and ported all the old modules to the new plugin system;
  • new feature/plugin: System, which allows performing actions like poweroff, reboot, lock screen, etc. (you may need to set the commands for this to match your desktop environment);
  • you can now ignore folders by adding them to an ".albertignore" file in your home directory;
  • added actions (TAB switches to alternate action, if any);
  • added support for Unity qucklists as actions (use the TAB key to access the quicklists);
  • Files plugin: you can now filter indexed files by type, symlink support.

Besides these changes, there have also been numerous bug fixes. For instance, the hotkey used to launched Albert should now be correctly saved, even if you kill Albert (e.g. using "killall albert").

According to the Albert wiki, Albert works with Qt 5.1 and newer however, there are some known bugs that occur with Qt (5) versions older than 5.3 (which affects Ubuntu 14.04 / Linux Mint 17.x for instance) and since those bugs are in Qt, they can't be fixed in Albert.

I am not exactly sure exactly what bugs the wiki is referring to but from what I can tell, if you use a Qt version older than 5.3, you can't use the Super (Meta) key as a hotkey for Albert - other than that, I couldn't find any other issues but there might be others!

Install Albert

To install the latest Albert in Ubuntu, Linux Mint and derivatives by using the main WebUpd8 PPA, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install albert

For how to install Albert in Arch Linux, Fedora or from source, see its wiki.

If you encounter bugs, report them @ GitHub.

Tip: if you're looking for similar applications but you're not satisfied with Albert, you can try Kupfer (available in the official Ubuntu repositories; not updated in a long time but it still works great and it comes with an impressive number of plugins) and Synapse (available in the repositories for Ubuntu 15.10 and 16.04; for 14.04, you can use THIS PPA).