When preparing a message on Linux, I often want to write rare emoji such as 🐧 or 🗼.

To insert the emoji, I open a web browser and search for "penguin emoji" or "tokyo tower emoji", then copy from the first website in the results. It takes a few precious seconds.

Is there a faster way to insert emoji, for Linux?

A standalone program is OK, but something as unintrusive and lightweight to the compose key would be the best. Unlike the compose key, it must allow for searching and show several results, because when I search for "rabbit" I want to be able to choose between 🐰 and 🐇.

  • Gratis, ideally open source.
  • Ideally should work offline, with a local search index.
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Gnome has that feature since 2018, and it is active by default in many distributions such as Ubuntu.

  1. Open Ubuntu's Text Editor app
  2. Right-click in the text area
  3. Click "Insert Emoji"
  4. Type in the search box
  5. Choose one of the emojis that come up

rabbit emoji gnome

Unfortunately it is not available in many non-Gnome-centric apps such as Firefox, LibreOffice or Geany.


Thanks pLumo for the tip!

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