Getting Synapse working on Mint 17 MATE (and probably other Ubuntu 14.04 distros as well)

Synapse is my absolute favorite keyboard launcher but for some reason, it is not included in Ubuntu 14.04 and I have not found any decent directions on how to get it working. I have since switched from Ubuntu to Mint 17 MATE and devised a way to get it functional. I’m not sure how much if any of these directions apply to Cinnamon or Ubuntu itself but I’m sure that it will at least point you in the right direction.

  1. Install the Synapse PPA: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:synapse-core/ppa && sudo apt-get -y update
  2. Install Synapse and Zeitgeist. For some reason the dependency resolution for Zeitgeist doesn’t work:  sudo apt-get install synapse zeitgeist
  3. Get compositing working. In MATE, this is done by going to Menu – Preferences – Desktop Settings – Windows and tick the Use compositing box. If you don’t do this (or whatever it takes to get compositing working on your distro) Synapse will look boxy and messed up.