SlickRun on Ubuntu

* I’m using Ubuntu 20.04 as my main operating system for some time now. So I’d like to document some tips in my blog.

I’ve been using SlickRun on Windows for years. It’s just great. I can launch any program or website. For example to open work item #123, I just type wi 123 and it will create a correct URL for me and open that work item in my browser.

The more generic example might be google abc command to search abc on the eb. It does so by adding abc to the url, so it’s something like

I needed a similar workflow for Ubuntu and here’s my solution.

Configure gRun as SlickRun

  1. I installed gRun the program that allows to launch programs and scripts using the apt install grun command.
  2. I configured the Alt+Q hotkey for gRun under Settings -> Keyboard Shortcuts. (by default SlickRun is using that one)
  3. Then I created .grun folder in my home directory using the mkdir ~/.grun command.
  4. In that folder I created the ~/.gurn/grun-enable script that will allow to configure new URLs:
    echo "xdg-open $1" > ~/.grun/$2
    chmod +x ~/.grun/$2
  5. Now we need to add .grun folder into the PATH, so that we can launch commands without specifying /.grun prefix. To do so add the text below to the very end of ~/.profile and re-login.
    if [ -d "$HOME/.grun/" ] ; then
  6. That’s it!

Now we can configure google search using the following command: grun-enable\$1 google.

And use it by typing google abc in gRun or in terminal.


Would like to connect to VPN via gRun or terminal? We’ve got you covered. Just put nmcli con up id CONNECTION_NAME_HERE into ~/.grun/vpn and then mark it as executable via chmod +x ~/.grun/vpn. Or you can do that with one liner:

echo "nmcli con up id CONNECTION_NAME_HERE" > ~/.grun/vpn && chmod +x ~/.grun/vpn

What’s next?

So we’ve got an easy way to run virtually anything with Alt+Q (or any other you used to). For me that makes a real difference, now I feel at home :)

Hope you will like it to you, Dear Reader.