Quick search menus: Does anyone use dmenu? Alternatives?

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What quick search menu/app launcher would you like to use?

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  • #1 - none, just use the regular menu
  • #2 - dmenu on Win+Alt+p
  • #3 - dmenu on easier key
  • #4 - j4-dmenu-desktop
  • #5 - rofi
  • #6 - launchy
  • #7 - kupfer
  • #8 - xfce4-appfinder
  • #9 - other, please post which one and why
  • #10 - would like to have one available, but don't know which, maybe we could post pics of each

This topic contains 9 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by Koo Mar 18-5:06 am.

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  • #19003

    A lot of times it isn’t convenient to go find a particular app on the menus. Quick search menus allow you to enter the first letters of the program name and it pops up a list , and refines the list as you type search characters, then you click on the one you want to run when you see it.

    Fluxbox uses the Win+Alt+p key combination to pop up dmenu, which is a no frills command line based basic quick search menu. Those keys are too tricky to press for me.

    I noticed that dmenu was in the Fluxbox keys file, but isn’t mapped to the keyboard at all when using the IceWM desktop. IceWM has Ctrl+Space setup to pop up a command line, but its not even as good as the Alt+F2 gexec which at least remembers what commands you ran. I use IceWM and on mine I remapped Ctrl+Space to pop up xfce4-appfinder.

    To be honest, I would prefer a nicer graphical quick search popup menu. Of the ones I tried, I liked xfce4-appfinder the best because I can quickly spot the icon of the one I was looking for and click to launch it. It uses 17 mb of memory if used (if you don’t ever pop it up it doesn’t use any) and takes 2 mb of disk.

    Links to all of these plus more https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/List_of_applications/Other#Application_launchers

    The list of ones I tried were:
    dmenu (already installed)
    j4-dmenu-desktop (like dmenu but supposed to be better, but I didn’t see much difference)
    kupfer (skidoo’s favorite)
    any others?

    I’m not sure if anti would be open to adding another or making dmenu work consistently with each of the desktops if people prefer it, but of course, you can always install and configure the one you like best, as I will probably do on mine. But I thought I’d create a poll to see if there is any interest, just to see.


    dmenu, I’d classify it as a pipemenu (doesn’t spring to mind when I think of ‘app finders’) & I haven’t messed with it since back when I use used the arpinux livarp distro.

    re: any others?

    albert: https://github.com/albertlauncher/albert#albert-at-a-glance

    gnome-do: appearance like kupfer, but has icky dependencies https://do.cooperteam.net/preview.shtml

    gnome-pie: you REALLY need to explore its options to appreciate it http://simmesimme.github.io/gnome-pie.html

    mutate: (abandoned project) uses libboost + Qt5 https://github.com/qdore/Mutate

    mystuff: apt install mystuff if you care to check it out https://kornelix.com/mystuff/mystuff.html
    doesn’t fit ‘app finder’ category & its nifty//unique features aren’t immediately obvious


    I am currently playing in QEMU with dwmX and its latest alpha5.
    The operation of an OS mainly via the keyboard was a challenge and took getting used to.
    Basis is dmenu and the integration of jgmenu. That made my start a lot easier. The speed of working with the applications is impressive. However, it is advantageous to have a second computer or a written printout of the key commands at hand.

    But since yesterday I have been shot by the failure of my main graphics card…


    I don’t think the anti will integrate even dmenu. Because, it is something for the advanced user. 😉

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by male.

    [oops, posted to wrong topic]

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by skidoo.

    If anyone wants me to add any of there others to my poll, let me know and I will. Even if none of this gets integrated, it still helps us customizer types choose well…

    skidoo, yes, I tried posting pics of what the search/launcher screens look like, but maybe your link idea is better.

    male, Yes, I see you like your keyboard map readily visible on the conky, which I also personally appreciate, but we are in the minority on that. What would be neat on a setup like that would be to have a “hotspot” on the screen, much like a menu that hides itself, except its the keyboard shortcuts list that popup as the tool tip when you hover over the hotspot.

    BTW, in the Buster version of IceWM, all the keyboard mapping functions are easily displayed, changed, and added to right from the menu. That’s another step in a user friendly direction as I see it. I think its safe to expect that the really advanced users are always going to customize things to taste, probably no matter what is the default, but the better the starting point, the easier their customizing as I see it.

    The normal people don’t generally have that kind of ability though, and maybe the power users would appreciate a bit better interface where easily integrated. Dmenu is already installed and as I said, its on the Fluxbox keymap, but I agree its pretty much for advanced users and not going to help normal people much. The xfce4-appfinder would be great for normal users and those advanced users who don’t see or remember so well, like me. Both xfce4-appfinder and dmenu integrated into the antiX IceWM setup perfectly with nothing more than a one line entry in keys to map the hotkey, and everything else worked with zero additional effort or changes. For me, that’s a lot quicker/easier than trying to remember what menu something is on and getting to it if it happens to be deep in the menu structure.


    I guess normal folks don’t even know what I’m talking about enough to see it’s usefulness, not even enough to read and reply, or maybe are just apathetic, oh my!

    Shut up and eat the gruel we give you, LOL.

    Oh well, for THEM, if anti wills it, I guess it will appear, else not 🙂

    For ME, by my hand, and with the the help of more capable buddies like skidoo, dave and bitjam, I’ll just add it to my main system, and my backup/deploy solution will add it to all my systems with no muss or fuss 🙂



    I installed synapse in Antix 17.3, because I like it much on a Linuxmint 19 XFCE. I find it better than a simple app launcher in that it can find files or launch a web search.

    But I am interested to see if there are other quick launchers, especially to compare RAM usage. I tried once kupfer and remember of an too often overflowed CPU because of files indexation.



    Hi, I haven’t heard of or tried synapse before. The xfce4 app finder wasn’t too bad because it used 20 mb but only while it was running.


    Synapse is quite good as a launcher, and it uses about 30 mb in background. It is available on stable repos. I think you could try it – if the RAM is not a matter for you.


    Have you tried jgmenu. You change skin type to take on a different form and all you do to search is type what in what looking for.


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