Install Synapse, Apple’s Spotlight style search bar in Ubuntu

December 6, 2013 — Leave a comment

synapse search


This post is more than one year old and it no longer works with Ubuntu 13.10 and older!

Synapse is an indicator applet that brings Mac OS X and iOS’s spotlight style search feature. With it, you can search from files, applications and Google/Google Maps.

Synapse indicator looks great in Pear OS 8 (Ubuntu based, iOS 7 inspired). Here’s what it looks like in Ubuntu Unity:

synapse indicator

To install the app, press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal. When it opens, follow the steps below one by one:

1. Add the indicator ppa:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:elementary-os/unstable-upstream

2. For Ubuntu 12.04, Ubuntu 12.10 and Ubuntu 13.04, add the dependencies ppa:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:birdie-team/stable

For Ubuntu 13.10, Ubuntu 14.04, download and install the DEBs below:


libgranite (64 bit) | libgranite (32 bit)

3. Update and install:

sudo apt-get update; sudo apt-get install indicator-synapse

Once installed, you’ll see the applet on next login.

I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu 5+ years ago and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me on Google Plus or email to

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