Ubuntu linux includes one of the most useful utilities available on any operating system: the Deskbar

With this utility, you can search any or all of the following services:

  • Programs
  • Dictionary
  • Files
  • Address book
  • Open Windows
  • Yahoo!
  • del.icio.us bookmarks
  • Web History

To install this utility, open up a terminal window and type in the following command:

sudo apt-get install deskbar-applet

Now you can add it to your panel by right clicking anywhere on the panel, and choosing Add to Panel:

You should see this icon somewhere in the dialog. Click the Add button or drag it to your panel:

If the applet displays as a single icon, it may be easier to change it to a full search box. You can do that by right clicking it and choosing preferences. Click the View tab, and then change the Layout to “Entry in panel”:

If you hit Alt+F3, you’ll change the focus to the textbox immediately. Typing in a search pops up a dialog allowing you to choose what search type you want:

To enable more search types, you can select them in the preferences page for the applet.