How to search for ANYTHING using Gnome-Do
13. März 2009, 21:20
Filed under: digitalgebastel | Schlagwörter: , , , , , , , , ,

In der Erwartung weltweiter Resonanz bedient sich dieser Artikel ausnahmsweise der englischen Sprache…
Gnome-Do is a popular Linux desktop tool. This article is about extending its functions using the OpenSearch plugin format and the site.

What is Gnome-Do?

Gnome-Do is a very handy application/bookmark/search/anything launcher for Linux. Or, how they put it themselves

GNOME Do allows you to quickly search for many items present on your desktop or the web, and perform useful actions on those items.

You have many functions at hand very quickly. If, for example, you want to find something on a map, you just fire up Gnome-Do with a quick keypress, type „map“ to select what you want to do, then type what you want to find on the map. Press Enter and Google Maps will be opened in your browser, with a search for the London Tower  Bridge, or whatever you entered.


Gnome-Do provides its functions via different plugins for different local and online services, including Google Searches, Thunderbird contacts, Firefox bookmarks, bookmarks and much more.

The OpenSearch Plugin

firefox-google-searchboxOne of these Gnome-Do plugins is the OpenSearch plugin. You know that little box at the top right hand corner in Firefox, where you can directly enter Google (and other) searches? These come in the OpenSearch format and you can find such boxes for almost any web service. The biggest selection of additional search engines is available at the Mycroft Project.

When Gnome-Do has the OpenSearch Plugin activated, you can use all the search engines that are installed in Firefox with it.

Make your own OpenSearch

If you want to integrate a particular web search into Gnome-Do, there’s a good chance you can find a ready-to-use OpenSearch plugin on Mycroft. Just add it to Firefox and it will we available in Gnome-Do, too. If there is nothing available for the site you’re interested in, you can easily make it yourself.

Most web searches are actually just a URL with your custom search term somewhere in it. Look at Google’s web address after you started a search:

OpenSearch plugins just define where that custom part has to go. And the Mycroft site provides a simple tool for creating them.

We want to create an OpenSearch plugin for searching on the Microblogging-Site The first step is a test search: we enter „TEST“ in the search form at What does the URL look like afterwards?

Now it is easy to tell where the search term goes. For OpenSearch, we put {searchTerms} at the position where the user’s search terms should be inserted, so we end up with{searchTerms}&search=Search

This is the „Search URL“ that we enter into the Mycroft Utility. There is some other information required before we can generate the plugin, but it is explained there. Here’s a screenshot of everything I entered for the search.

Now we can hit „generate“ and „install“ in the Mycroft tool in order to get our brand new search installed in Firefox. If you think it is useful for other people, too, you can click „submit“ to publish it (That’s what I did, here is the finished plugin).

Does it work?

OK, it’s time to test our new tool. Gnome-Do will automatically find it, once it is installed in Firefox. Just try it out: fire up Gnome-Do, enter „search“ to get to the OpenSearch plugin, press [Tab], then enter your search term, [Tab] another time and then „ident..“ to select the new search from the list of installed OpenSearches. Press „Enter“, and that’s it.

This way, you can basically integrate all your favourite web services into Gnome-Do.



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[…] mal eine Weile gar nix schreibe, ist der populärste und am häufigsten aufgerufene Post immer noch der über Gnome Do, den ich vor einer Weile mal auf Englisch geschrieben habe. Merke: Softwarethemen gehen gut. […]

Pingback von Wenn ich mal eine Weile gar nix schreibe « partikelfernsteuerung

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