Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

MATE HUD, a Unity HUD-like tool that allows searching through an application's menu, was recently uploaded to the official Yakkety Yak repositories, and is available (but not enabled) by default in Ubuntu MATE 16.10.


MATE HUD is a fork of i3-hud-menu, which we've covered recently, with a few changes:
  • xprop was replaced with a Python implementation;
  • rofi is used instead of dmenu;
  • rofi is automatically themed based on the current GTK theme;
  • the settings (including configurable keyboard shortcut) are stored in Dconf (org > mate > hud).

Slightly off-topic: Rofi is a lot like dmenu, with various improvements, like mouse support (allows selecting items using the mouse; dmenu does not). Furthermore, Rofi provides a window switcher, run dialog and SSH launcher. Check it out HERE. You'll find Rofi in the official Ubuntu repositories (15.10+).

Like i3-hud-menu, MATE HUD has some limitations, Firefox, Thunderbird, or LibreOffice. It can also break the LibreOffice menu completely, as long as the "libreoffice-gtk" desktop integration package is installed.

Also, if appmenu-qt and appmenu-qt5 are installed, the menu is not displayed for Qt applications, while MATE HUD does work.

Check out our i3-hud-menu article for more information.

To try MATE HUD, you need to be running the latest Ubuntu MATE 16.10 Yakkety Yak. After installing all the available updates, you should see an option in MATE Tweak (under "Panel") that allows enabling MATE HUD:

If you can't see this option, make sure you've installed all the available updates (if you're using a repositories mirror, it may take a while until the package is synced). Alternatively, you can install MATE HUD using the following command:
sudo apt install mate-hud
Once installed, restart the session (logout/login) and enable MATE HUD from MATE Tweak.

The default keyboard shortcut for opening MATE HUD is Ctrl + Alt + Space. This can be changed using Dconf Editor, under org > mate > hud.