Enable macOS spotlight style Search Box in Ubuntu 24.04 | 22.04

Last updated: May 8, 2024 — Leave a comment

Prefer macOS spotlight or Alfred style search system? You can now get similar feature in Ubuntu via an extension.

It’s ‘Search Light‘, an extension so far supports for Gnome 42 ~ 46, meaning for Ubuntu 22.04, Ubuntu 24.04, Fedora 38~40, Debian 12, Arch and Manjaro Linux.

With it, you may press a custom shortcut key on keyboard to open the search box. Then, type to search and launch applications, settings, and/or app content.

It uses system’s built in search function, with settings to show search box in preferred monitor, change background, opacity, and search window size.

Search Light with custom background color & opacity

How to Install ‘Search Light’ extension:

For Ubuntu 22.04+ and Arch Linux, first search for and install ‘Extension Manager‘ from Ubuntu Software (App Center) or system software app.

Install Extension Manager in Ubuntu Software/App Center

Then, search for and launch the tool from ‘Activities’ overview screen.

You can finally go to ‘Browse’ tab in Extension Manager to search & install the extension.

And, go back to ‘Installed’ tab in Extension Manager to open the configuration dialog. Finally, set your favorite shortcut key, choose monitor (if more than one available), and change the layout appearance.

Fedora user can simply go to extension web-page, and install it by using the ON/OFF switch. And, install ‘Gnome Extensions’ app from Gnome Software for configuring the extension.


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 Please comment to let me know if the tutorial is outdated!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 ubuntuhandbook1@gmail.com Buy me a coffee: https://ko-fi.com/ubuntuhandbook1

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