How to Enable Google’s Chrome App Launcher on Linux

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Google Chrome App Launcher Featured

With Chrome App Launcher you can launch your favorite Chrome Apps, browse through your bookmarks and can trigger a web search without even opening the browser itself. This feature is available out of the box in Chrome OS, Windows and Mac but on Linux it’s disabled by default but enabling it is easy. Let’s see how you can do it.

Enable Chrome App Launcher on Linux

To add the Chrome app launcher, you must be running the latest release of Google Chrome (any channel). Google has provided Debian and RPM installers suitable for most Linux distributions which you can download from this link.

The simple method is to click this link https://chrome.google.com/webstore/launcher and hit the ‘Get Chrome App Launcher’ button on the page which will add the required feature on your system.

But for any reason if the above step does not work then there is no need to worry as you can enable it manually by pasting the following address into the Omnibar and then hit return/enter:

chrome://flags/#enable-app-list

See Also: Chrome Incognito Shortcut – Chrome.exe –disable-web-security

What is Omnibar in Chrome?

Enable Google Chrome App Launcher on Linux Screen shot 1

Click ‘Enable’ blue link that is listed underneath the “enable the app Launcher” heading and just re-launch Chrome when promoted to do so.

Positioning the Chrome App Launcher

After installing the item, you can add it to your application launcher, desktop panel (find launcher in your desktop app menu), Dash, Cinnamon desktop panel, in the middle of your GNOME Shell dock or anywhere you want.

See Also: Cache Killer – Clear Browser Cache Each Time You Open Webpage [Chrome]

Using the Chrome App Launcher

As the launcher item has been added and in place on your desktop and now you just need to click on it. There is something more to tweak as despite the App Launcher icon being clicked on the left, it appears on the right screen.

Enable Google Chrome App Launcher on Linux Screen shot 2

If positioning is really off then you have to turn on the “Enable the experimental chrome app launcher position” flag – following setting will positions the apps list in the center of the screen:

Chrome://flags/#enable-centered-app-list

Anatomy of the Chome App launcher

Linux users will not be able to take advantage of the “Ok Google” feature available in the Chrome OS launcher, but they do get most of the other features that are quite handy such as

Folders allow you to group your apps into custom directories, and also by enabling the ‘App Folder Sync’ flag you can keep these groupings between Desktops and Operating Systems.

Another flag Linux users can enable to achieve parity with Windows users is ‘App Info’ as with this by right-clicking on apps will give brief information on permissions the app in question has access to, shortcut app opening preferences (‘Window’, ‘In Tab’, etc.), and an uninstall button.

To differentiate between Chrome apps that can run offline, you will find the shortcut badge on their icons:

See Also: Tips And Tricks For Google Chromebooks

Enable Google Chrome App Launcher on Linux Screen shot 3

The search bar appearing on right side in the list will give results from the web, your bookmarks, installed applications, and the Chrome Web Store.

Enable Google Chrome App Launcher on Linux Screen shot 4

Removing the Chome App Launcher

If you want to remove the Chrome App Launcher, right-click on (or tear off) the list shortcut from your panel or dock or you disable the flag if you have enabled the launcher through it.

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