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How to launch apps on Gnome Shell more efficiently

Fly-Pie is a new, mouse-based menu application for use on Gnome Shell. With it, you can quickly launch apps, settings, and other things on your Gnome desktop environment. However, before we go over how to use the app, we must demonstrate how to set it up on your Linux system.

Fly-Pie Gnome Shell Extension

Fly-Pie is a Gnome Shell extension. It being an extension isn’t bad news. It’s excellent news! Why? Unlike apps like Gnome Pie, or other launchers of this type, Linux users do not need to fiddle with DEB and RPM packages or compiling source code. Instead, the app can be instantly installed through the Gnome Extension website or downloaded via their GitHub.

Enable Gnome Shell Extensions

The installation of Fly-Pie does require some setup, though. You will need to configure your Linux PC to install Gnome Extensions. So, follow our guide on how to set up the Gnome browser extension and Gnome Linux tool that enables the installation of extensions from the website.

Note: if you do not want to install the Gnome Linux tool that enables the ability to install extensions, you can follow the GitHub instructions. However, we do not recommend following the GitHub instructions unless you know how your Gnome Shell system works and are an expert.

Install Fly-Pie Gnome Extension

The Fly-Pie tool is available to all running Gnome Shell 3.36 and newer. To install it, do the following. First, head over to the Fly-Pie extension page on the Gnome Extension website. Once there, look for the installation slider, and click on it.

After clicking on the slider, a pop-up will appear on the screen. Click on the “Install” button to set up Fly-Pie on your computer.

Install Fly-Pie via GitHub

While it is not ideal, it is possible to download and install the Fly-Pie extension on Linux via GitHub. To do it, start by launching a terminal window on the desktop. Once the terminal window is open on the desktop, use the CD command to move the command-line session into ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions where all Gnome extensions are kept on the system.

cd ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions

Once inside of the folder, use the Git tool to download the latest release of the extension to your computer. Keep in mind you will need to have the Git program set up on your computer to use this command.

Note: to install the Git program on your Linux PC, head over to this page on Pkgs.org, and look through the list of distributions. When you’ve found your OS, click on the “git” package to get instructions on how to set up the app.

git clone https://github.com/Schneegans/Fly-Pie.git

After downloading the “Fly-Pie folder, you must rename it to “flypie@schneegans.github.com.” Renaming the folder to this name will allow Gnome Shell to detect the extension.

mv Fly-Pie flypie@schneegans.github.com

You can then enable the extension directly through the command-line with the gnome-extensions enable command.

gnome-extensions enable flypie@schneegans.github.com

Using Fly-Pie for the first time

The Fly-Pie application is a bit different from most app launchers. It’s designed to be used with a mouse, and there’s no typing necessary. To start the process, you must install the Gnome Extensions application. This app is a Flatpak app, so to get it, follow our guide to learn how to set up the Flatpak runtime. Then, install this app here.

Once you’ve got the Gnome Extensions app set up, launch it by searching for “Extensions” in your app menu or, by running the terminal command below.

flatpak run org.gnome.Extensions

Inside of the Extensions app, look through your installed Gnome Extensions for “Fly-Pie” and click on the options icon next to it. Upon clicking on the options icon, you will be presented with the Fly-Pie configuration window. In this window, locate the “Tutorial” tab, and click on it.

In the “Tutorial” tab for Fly-Pie, you will be presented with a walkthrough on how to use the Fly-Pie menu. Be sure to study this tutorial, as it shows you exactly how everything works, and how you can use it.

When you’ve finished up with the tutorial, follow the instructions below to learn how to launch various items.

Launching apps

To launch an app with the Fly-Pie menu, do the following. First, press Ctrl + Space on the desktop to bring up the menu. Then use the mouse to select “Default Apps.” After selecting “Default Apps,” select a category, then the app you wish to launch.

Launching folders

Want to access folders? Do the following. First, open up the menu with Ctrl + Space to open up the menu. After that, click on”bookmarks.” Inside of the bookmarks area, you will see various folders you can open. Select the folder in which you wish to open with the mouse.

Music control

Want to control your music? Open the menu by pressing the Ctrl + Space key combo. Then, select “Sound.” Inside of the sound area, you will see several different music control options. Select one of the control options.

Window control

The Fly-Pie menu can control windows. To control an open window (close, minimize, etc.) do the following. First, launch the app menu with Ctrl + Space. Then, look for “Window Management.” Select the window management function you wish to perform inside of the menu.

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