Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

Albert, a Qt5 quick launcher, was updated to version 0.10.0 (and then 0.10.1 to fix some issues), introducing completion using the Tab key, two new extensions, and more.

Albert quick launcher

The latest Albert 0.10 ships with two new extensions: MPRIS and SSH. 

The MPRIS extension allows controlling MPRIS-capable media players, like Rhythmbox, VLC, Audacious and so on. It currently supports play, pause, next, previous and stop.

Note: the MPRIS extension is disabled by default so you'll need to enable it in the Albert Settings > Plugins.

To use it, a MPRIS-capable media player needs to be running, then simply type one of the supported commands in Albert, like pause:

Albert quick launcher

The SSH extension makes ssh hosts from /etc/ssh/config and ~/.ssh/config accessible by Albert. To use it, make sure the Secure Shell extension is enabled in Albert, then type the trigger (ssh) and Albert should list available ssh hosts, allowing you to connect to them.

Other changes in Albert 0.10 include:
  • tab completion using the Tab key. E.g., type 2+2, then select the calculator item, press Tab and Albert will display the result. Alternative actions have been moved to the Alt key (you need to hold Alt to show alternative actions);
  • scrolling using the mouse wheel in the Albert input box now allows navigating through history;
  • the files extension now allows browsing through paths not index by Albert - simply start your query with either / or ~, and Albert will assume it's a path. Thanks to the new tab completion, this makes it easy to navigate the filesystem;
  • the application extension has a new option that allows ignoring OnlyShowIn and NotShowIn keys from desktop files (so you can access applications that are set not to be displayed in your current desktop environment)
  • a new group of themes was added, called Spotlight (there are 3 themes available: Bright, Dark and Space);
  • the terminal extension now supports aliases.

Install Albert in Ubuntu or Linux Mint via PPA

To install Albert in Ubuntu (in all supported versions, including the latest 17.04) or Linux Mint, you can use the main WebUpd8 PPA. Add the PPA and install Albert by using the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt update
sudo apt install albert
Alternatively, you can download the Albert deb from HERE.

To use Albert, you'll have to assign it a keyboard shortcut, such as Ctrl + Space (make sure it's not already in use!) to invoke it. Also, Albert doesn't start automatically on login, so you'll have to add it to your startup applications manually.

For installing Albert in other Linux distributions, how to use it, etc., see its documentation. If you encounter bugs, report them @ GitHub.

You may also want to check out Kupfer quick lauuncher, a similar application that was recently ported to Python 3 and GTK 3 after 4 years of inactivity.