Desktop Overview (full screen launcher)

There has been interest over some considerable amount of time for a full-screen application launcher.

This project ( has recently resurrected this idea for another operating system. It also does work under budgie.

Thus I have written a simple budgie applet that is intended to replace either the simple menu or the default budgie menu in 20.04 that launches lightpad - so you can invoke the fullscreen launcher via the Super key or pressing the applet panel icon.

I’ll add this to Menu - Budgie Extras in the near future - but you can install this new applet (18.04 or 20.04) via our backports PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntubudgie/backports
sudo apt install budgie-lightpad-applet

Logout and login and replace the current menu with the “Lightpad” applet


Support arrangements. For issues about the actual fullscreen launcher please raise to - I’m sure any help to enhance the launcher would be most welcome via that project - fork and fix!

For the budgie applet itself -


Got it working easily, couple of minor bugs (not sure if UB or lightpad tho).

  1. No dynamic background after adding a jpg file to usr/share/lightpad/picture.jpg (needed to be added as root, if thats any help)
  2. Slight bit of lag when starting up application (probably a lightpad issue, don’t know if there’s any way to tell if it’s using gpu acceleration)
  3. Any way to change exit key from “escape / esc” to super as its easier to click the sudo key twice (just a question, not a bug)

Beside that, its working pretty nicely and is something I’ve wanted for a while

Great - thanks for the feedback.

All three are lightpad issues.

Dynamic background should be in v0.0.7 of lightpad which we are using. So please raise a query upstream on the lightpad project.

The lag issue I have raised on the lightpad issue tracker since I believe lightpad should be initialised on login and start in the background. Lightpad should never close - just hide when pressing “escape”.

The “escape” - I raised this issue - feel free to add a clarification on this.

Having re-read the upstream README I think the name in /usr/share/lightpad should be either background.jpg or background.png


May such a layout be used for showing
⋅ recent files ( maybe using tracker ),
⋅ recent visited places,
⋅ last 6 or 10 app’s used ( if not already pinned / favorited in dock or panel )


Another app-menu adds no new useful feature - it’s just aesthetic, and yes it matters - whereas a place for any kinds of recent activities is really lacking.

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Those thoughts should be added to the lightpad issue tracker.

You knew I would ask, didn’t you ? :grin:
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Yes, the image fix seems to have worked. Thanks for raising the lag issue, that seems like a suitable solution.
Found a new issue, I think this one is definitely lightpad. Currently I have chromium open taking up the whole screen (not F11 full screen). When I hit super, lightpad opens, only behind chromium. So, when I minimise chromium it will appear.
Just out of curiosity, what are the technical differences between building the app yourself and installing through the ppa?

There shouldn’t be any differences.

In backports we use the package created by the lightpad author.

What I like to see; is categories. When you have 30+ games installed and a dozen apps as well it’s tedious not to have it categorized.

My two cents

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Please raise that on the lightpad issue tracker.


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Can we replace the background with a blurred version of desktop background.
Like this,

To this,
Screenshot from 2020-07-08 17-21-18

That’s an upstream question (lightpad) - but given that you can use the dynamic background feature you could alway blur your wallpaper yourself and use that image as the dynamic background.

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Whoa, this is awesome :smiley:

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Well, as is, is just once again another app menu with no particular new feature or new usability,
but hey yes it looks nice for sure.

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Would it be possible to trigger Desktop Overview with a shortcut, without having to add the applet to the Panel?

Just install lightpad.

Then map the exe com.github.libredeb.lightpad to a keyboard shortcut.

Can we make lightpad not cover budgie-panel and plank ?

No. That will need an option in lightpad to make it a maximised window rather than a fullscreen overlay.

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