Excellent Utilities: Cerebro – productivity tool

Last Updated on February 21, 2023

In Operation

Cerebro is triggered when the hotkey is pressed. By default, that’s Control + Space but this can be changed if that’s not convenient for you.

In the image below, we’ve pressed the hotkey, and then pressed the f key. As you can see, we are presented with relevant applications ready to launch. It’s a quick and effective way to start up applications with the minimum of fuss and bother.


There are quite a few plugins available which extend the functionality of the program beyond a mere application launcher.

Cerebro plugins

Other features include:

  • The ability to change the hotkey.
  • Theme support – choose from light or dark theme.
  • Option to start Cerebro automatically
  • Option to show Cerebro in the menu bar.
  • Proxy support.
  • Internationalization support


Cerebro is a fast application launcher with bags of additional functionality.

It warrants our strong recommendation and deservedly enters our Excellent Utilities series.

The software is not particularly light with system resources. The wonderful ps_mem tool reports that Cerebro uses around 385MB of RAM at startup.

Website: cerebroapp.com
Support: GitHub Code Repository
Developer: Alexandr Subbotin
License: MIT License

Cerebro is written in JavaScript. Learn JavaScript with our recommended free books and free tutorials.

Pages in this article:
Page 1 – Introduction / Installation
Page 2 – In Operation / Summary

Complete list of articles in this series:

Excellent Utilities
AES CryptEncrypt files using the Advanced Encryption Standard
AnanicyShell daemon created to manage processes’ IO and CPU priorities
brootNext gen tree explorer and customizable launcher
CerebroFast application launcher
cheat.shCommunity driven unified cheat sheet
CopyQAdvanced clipboard manager
crocSecurely transfer files and folders from the command-line
DeskreenLive streaming your desktop to a web browser
dufDisk usage utility with more polished presentation than the classic df
ezaA turbo-charged alternative to the venerable ls command
Extension ManagerBrowse, install and manage GNOME Shell Extensions
fdWonderful alternative to the venerable find
fkillKill processes quick and easy
fontpreviewQuickly search and preview fonts
horcruxFile splitter with encryption and redundancy
KoohaSimple screen recorder
KOReaderDocument viewer for a wide variety of file formats
ImagineA simple yet effective image optimization tool
LanguageToolStyle and grammar checker for 30+ languages
Liquid PromptAdaptive prompt for Bash & Zsh
lnavAdvanced log file viewer for the small-scale; great for troubleshooting
lsdLike exa, lsd is a turbo-charged alternative to ls
Mark TextSimple and elegant Markdown editor
McFlyNavigate through your bash shell history
mdlessFormatted and highlighted view of Markdown files
notiMonitors a command or process and triggers a notification
NushellFlexible cross-platform shell with a modern feel
nvitopGPU process management for NVIDIA graphics cards
OCRmyPDFAdd OCR text layer to scanned PDFs
Oh My ZshFramework to manage your Zsh configuration
PaperworkDesigned to simplify the management of your paperwork
pastelGenerate, analyze, convert and manipulate colors
PDF Mix ToolPerform common editing operations on PDF files
pecoSimple interactive filtering tool that's remarkably useful
ripgrepRecursively search directories for a regex pattern
RnoteSketch and take handwritten notes
scrcpyDisplay and control Android devices
StickySimulates the traditional “sticky note” style stationery on your desktop
tldrSimplified and community-driven man pages
tmuxA terminal multiplexer that offers a massive boost to your workflow
TuskAn unofficial Evernote client with bags of potential
UlauncherSublime application launcher
WatsonTrack the time spent on projects
Whoogle SearchSelf-hosted and privacy-focused metasearch engine
ZellijTerminal workspace with batteries included
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