Silly little gmrun

Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.

I think I may have found the program that actually does the least I’ve ever seen … short of things like cowsay. I forget what I was looking for, but I installed gmrun last night and tried it. This is what I got.

If you type in the executable for a program there, it starts. Genius, isn’t it? It’s essentially a program that runs other programs. And that’s all. ๐Ÿ˜•

I apologize if I sound a little snide. I wish I had thought of the idea first, to tell the truth. ๐Ÿ˜€ And really, it’s not as redundant as it sounds. Like most really great, really flexible, really useful programs, this one is terribly deceptive. For one thing, if you wire it to the Alt-F2 key, as most people probably will, you get quicker and faster access to programs than, for example, wading through nested menus.

So in that sense it’s a half-step between a terminal window — which as we all know, is an amazing and powerful utility, right? ๐Ÿ˜ˆ — and an actual full-featured GUI application.

It gets better. gmrun does a few things you wouldn’t guess without delving deeper. It keeps a command history (a feature I generally do not consider a feature, but some do), and it will do command-line completion. You can precisely and perfectly trigger the window in an exact location.

It also can trigger terminal windows at a keystroke, default on a command to spawn a terminal window (in other words, you type htop, it triggers a terminal with htop inside it), and a bunch of neat other things. If you give it a URL, it can detect that and open it in a browser, instead of acting confused.

Take a look here for an idea of its potential. And the moral of the story, of course, is that you can’t judge a program by its interface. ๐Ÿ™‚


15 thoughts on “Silly little gmrun

  1. Reacocard

    I’ve been using gmrun as my alt+f2 replacement for a long time (I hate the gnome run dialog), but I had no idea it could do things like opening urls. Time for some quality tweaking I think… ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Moparx

    Gmrun is definitely a great little application. ๐Ÿ™‚

    I have been using it for around two years now and launch it via Control+Space key combination for quicker access.

    When I first started using it I quickly found that its speed and minimalist nature complimented my window manager of choice (Openbox) quite nicely.

  3. fftb


    great blog. I just wonder how to bind gmrun with the Alt+F2 key in gnome (I don’t like gnome-run, too). Do I have to use something like xbindkeys?

  4. K.Mandla Post author

    To be honest, I don’t know about Gnome. I would suspect it would involve gconf or something, but it’s been years — no literally, years — since I put that much effort into Gnome. Perhaps someone else can help on that one.

  5. lefty.crupps

    KDE has a nice applet which can be placed in the Kicker (the ‘taskbar’ panel in KDE), providing this same function. Seems useless but it isn’t once you have it!

  6. Onyros

    @fftb: instructions for replacing ALT+F2’s behaviour in GNOME…

    First you have to run gconf-editor. Head over to apps –> metacity –> global_keybindings –> and remove F2 from panel_run_dialog’s line.

    After that insert F2 in run_command_1’s line.

    Now, head over to keybinding commands and insert “gmrun” on that command_1 line… Voilรก ๐Ÿ˜‰

    And all that for GNOME, whereas in Fluxbox… all you have to do is nano ~/.fluxbox/keys and replace the original Mod F2 line (from changing to Workspace 2) with

    Mod F2 :ExecComand gmrun

    That much simpler, yep… ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Onyros

    Errm… WordPress’ comments ate a little tag I had somewhere in that comment. It was a F2 tag in panel_run_dialog and run_command_1’s line.

  8. Onyros

    Darn it. It did it again, even with a space between. K., please delete that second comment and this one, and while you’re at it, could you please also insert ALT before F2 in that fourth and sixth line of comment?

  9. seventytude

    bashrun ( follows through where gmrun stops — it simply uses bash and a small terminal window to create a launcher, so everything you know from bash is already there, and it adds a lot of features that gmrun has, and then some more.

  10. Pingback: Fleshing out XFCE in Ubuntu « Motho ke motho ka botho

    1. WARvault

      Hope you get this Stephen, you need to hit CTRL + ENTER instead of just plain ENTER after a command it bring it up in a terminal… I tested it with SSH here and it works. I have been using GMRun for ~2 years and didn’t know this myself until now!


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