[HOWTO] Enable Alt+F2 in Ubuntu Natty 11.04 Narwhal Alpha 1

If you have installed Ubuntu Natty Narwhal Alpha 1, you will notice the new Unity interface and hence no Gnome Panel(s) anymore. Since “Run Application” dialog is a part of gnome-panel, it is not possible to enable the same “Run Application” dialog. If you wish, you can achieve that by running the gnome-panel, but this is not the recommended course of action if you wish to keep running unity.
So, the other way to make it work is to use third party run dialogs from repositories. One of the best run dialog is gmrun. It is available in Ubuntu universe repositories. Open up the terminal (by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T) and type in the following to launch Synaptic Package Manager:

sudo synaptic

Then, go to Settings>Repositories and Enable the Universe repository.

After having done that, close the repository window and synaptic. In the terminal, type in the following:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install gmrun compizconfig-settings-manager

Now, lets launch compizconfig-settings-manager. Just type in the following in the terminal:


Search for commands and enable it. Click on Commands to set commands and Key Bindings. In Command line 0, type in gmrun and in Key Bindings tab, click on the Disabled button and check Enable to Enable it. Press the Grab key combination button and press Alt+F2. In the dialog that pops up, click “Disable Run Applications”.

If all goes well, you can now press Alt+F2 and a “Run Program” dialog will pop up. You can use tab to complete fields and press Ctrl+R to search older run entries.

Hope this helps.

[SOLVED] Alt+F2 (Run Application dialog) stopped working

UPDATE: I figured the problem was due to messed up compiz settings. Disabling and enabling compiz (Right Click on Desktop>Change Desktop Background>Visual Effects None and then again to Normal or Extra) fixed it.
The older post follows.

I am using Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat 32bit. After a few updates and package changes, the run application dialog mysteriously stopped working. I had to do a little compiz workaround to make it work. To start, install Openbox for the tool “gnome-panel-control “. Use Software Center or Synaptic Package Manager or just the command line:

sudo apt-get install openbox

Once it is installed, run dialog can be brought up by running:

gnome-panel-control --run-dialog

Now, lets associate this with Alt+F2 with the help of Compiz Config Settings Manager(CCSM). To do so, CCSM must be installed:

 sudo apt-get install compizconfig-settings-manager

Then, just open it: System>Preferences>CompizConfig Settings Manager. Then enable “Commands” plugin and in the plugin prefernces, under “Command” tab, enter the following in any Command Line X (where X =0, 1, 2 …) as shown below:

gnome-panel-control --run-dialog

Now, goto the “Keybindings” tab and then in the respective “Run Command X”, click the “Disabled” button and “Enable” it. Then, click “Grab Key Combination” button and press Alt+F2. Close it and now Alt+F2 should work normally.

Hope this helps.