Add the (Elementary Team’s) Slingshot Launcher to Ubuntu

There are two ways to install the Slingshot lauuncher developed by the Elementary team on your Ubuntu Natty or later system. The first is from the PPA. But before you decide to take this approach read this warning which is taked directly from the PPA site.

Do NOT install this PPA if you want a tested running system, this PPA contains the newest and most unstable development of elementary, this PPA is only recommended to use if you are a developer and are not afraid to encounter critial bugs.
Also this PPA may overwrite already installed packages you don’t want it to!

So it’s probably okay to add the PPA, install slingshot-launcher, and then immediately remove the PPA. Otherwise the next time you do an upgrade your are taking a very real risk that you will overwrite released Ubuntu packages with develompent/alpha/beta level pacages from the repository. I decided to take a different approach which may well have it’s own risks. If you want to use the PPA approach, here’s what I would do.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:elementaryart/elementary-dev
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install slingshot-launcher

Then immediately open synaptic and select settings>repositories. Select the Other Software tab, find the line containing elementaryart and clear the checkbox at the beginning of the line.

This is not the approach I decided to use. Instead I downloaded the .deb files for slingshot. Open a web browser and navigate to the download loacation which is:
For the I386 version

Note: You need to use the version corresponding to the version of Ubuntu 11.04 installed on your system.

When the download is complete openup your file browser (Nautilus) to the directory where your downloads are stored. This is likely to be either your home directory or your Downloads directory. and look for a file like:


depending upon which versiion you downloaded.

Then double click on the downloaded file to open the Ubuntu Software Center and install the package. In order to use the new launchar you need a slingshot.desktop file in one of two folders, either ~/.local/share/applications or /usr/share/applications. After the Ubuntu Software Center completes the install, there you can find a copy of slingshot.desktop in /usr/share/app-install/desktop. So:

sudo cp /usr/share/app-install/desktop/slingshot.desktop ~/.local/share/applications/slingshot.desktop
sudo chown yourusername:yourusername ~/.local/share/applications/slingshot.desktop
sudo chmod u+x ~/.local/share/applications/slingshot.desktop
sudo cp /usr/share/app-install/desktop/_usr_share_pixmaps_slingshot~/.local/share/icons/_usr_share_pixmaps_slingshot

Here’s the result when I click the Slingshot icon:

  1. I have a problem. My launcher does not look right, you could not put the text file start. I do not have a transparent background, and it does not open all the window. And as you can replace the key units on this application launcher?

    • So, I used this launcher in Natty. At this point I’ve decided to use Cardapio instead. I did try running slingshot on my system but it would not even open for me. That’s probably because I’m now running Ubuntu Precise (12.04). I tried adding the ppa to get an updated version of Slingshot but there is no Precise repository at this point. I looked for a configuration text file but there doesn’t seem to be one for slingshot. As far as the launcher not being transparent, are you running OpenGL? I’m afraid I’m not helping much but without a lot more information that’s the best I can do.

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