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

Last updated: December 14, 2014

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 in 2007 and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please comment to let me know if the tutorial is outdated! And, notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me via [email protected] Buy me a coffee: