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KDE Gets Ubuntu Unity Like Dash: Homerun Launcher

KDE, as I always say, is one of the most advanced desktop environments. It’s future-ready with Plasma Active which is fully baked to run on touch-based devices. It’s fast, stable and extremely polished when compared with Windows 7 or Mac.

One advantage of KDE over its free software counterparts (without naming them) is the level of customization you can achieve with it. All these characteristics of KDE make it not only easy but also a pleasure to use your PC.

Some KDE developers have created a nice project called Homerun Launcher which makes it ever easier and pleasant to use your PC. Homerun Launcher is something similar to Gnome’s Activities or Ubuntu’s Dash – with some customizations typical of KDE.

According to the project page:

Homerun is a fullscreen launcher with content organized in tabs. A tab is composed of several “sources”. A source can provide one or more sections to a tab. Homerun comes with a few built-in sources, but custom sources can be written using libhomerun.

First Things First: How To Install It
I am running openSUSE and Homerun be easily installed with one click from openSUSE’s Homerun page. Sadly, this is an older version of the software and I hope the developers will upload the latest version soon. Kubuntu users can grab a PPA and install the latest version.

Where Do You Want It?
Once it’s installed, you can add the Homerun Launcher icon where ever you want. You can create a side panel like Unity and add the HL there on the top left holy corner. To add Homerun Launcher to the panel (and you can add it to any panel you want) just “right click’” on the panel, then go to “panel option > add widget. Search for Homerun and enable it.

You can actually replace the default menu launcher with Homerun Launcher, which once again is extremely easy under KDE (no wonder why I like KDE so much).

It’s not KDE if you can’t customize it. Not only you can choose the location of Homerun Launcher but also you can chose which keys to use to invoke it, so that you can use mouse as well as keyboard to open the launcher. To assign a key, right click on the launcher icon and select the Homerun launcher setting which will open a window where you can assign the keys you want to use to trigger the launcher.

Check out the Homerun Launcher in the video below

Considering the 0.1.x release it’s quite polished, fast and stable. There are some rough edges which will be fixed as more bugs reports are filed.

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If you are a KDE user I will heavily recommend this launcher, go ahead and install it. With the duo of krunner and Homerun Launcher KDE just hit a home run. If you are not a KDE user, I will heavily recommend it. KDE is one of the oldest and most mature free software projects and it keeps getting better.

Slideshow Image:
Swapnil Bhartiya

A free software fund-a-mental-ist and Charles Bukowski fan, Swapnil also writes fiction and tries to find cracks in the paper armours of proprietary companies. Swapnil has been covering Linux and Free Software/Open Source since 2005.

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