Comparison of desktop application launchers

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An application launcher is a computer program that helps a user to locate and start other computer programs. An application launcher provides shortcuts to computer programs, and stores the shortcuts in one place so they are easier to find.

In the comparison of desktop application launchers that follows, each section is devoted to a different desktop environment.

Android[edit]

See List of Android Launchers

Windows[edit]

These desktop application launchers work with Microsoft Windows operating systems only.

Creator Latest stable version Release date OS Free according to the FSF Software license Open source Programming language Plugin support
Appetizer Laurent Cozic 1.4 February 13, 2010 Microsoft Windows Yes GPL Yes C++, wxWidgets Yes
ASuite SalvadorSoftware 1.5.1.2 May 24, 2008 Microsoft Windows Yes GPL Yes Delphi No
Classic Shell Ivo Beltchev 4.2.7 May 25, 2016 Microsoft Windows No Proprietary No C++ Yes (via shell namespace extensions inside the menu)
Executor[1] Martin Bresson 0.99.12b November 9, 2013 Microsoft Windows No Proprietary No  ? No
Keypirinha[2] Jean-Charles Lefebvre 2.9.7 October 10, 2016 Microsoft Windows No Freeware No C++, Python3 Yes (Python3 scripts)
LiberKey Captel SARL 5.8.1114 November 15, 2014 Microsoft Windows No Proprietary No ? No
PortableApps.com Platform Rare Ideas, LLC 14.1 May 13, 2016 Microsoft Windows Yes GPL Yes[note 1] Delphi No
SliderDock Dimitri Roozendaal 1.21 October 11, 2010 Microsoft Windows No Creative Commons No ? No
SyMenu UGMFree.it 5.06 November 5, 2016 Microsoft Windows No Freeware No C# Yes
  1. ^ PortableApps.com branding is trademarked

Linux[edit]

These desktop application launchers work with Linux operating systems only.

Creator Latest stable version Release date OS Free according to the FSF Software license Open source Programming language Plugin support
9menu Arnold Robbins 1.8 June 1, 2004 Linux Yes GPL Yes C No
Avant Window Navigator Neil J. Patel 0.4.2 [3] November 27, 2013 Linux Yes GPL Yes C Yes
dmenu dwm developers 4.5[4] December 19, 2011 Linux Yes MIT License Yes C No
GNOME Do GNOME Do Developers 0.95.1[5] January 23, 2014 Linux Yes GPL Yes C Sharp Yes
Katapult Katapult Developers 0.3.2.1 July 23, 2008 Linux with KDE Yes GPL Yes C++ Yes
Kupfer Kupfer 208 June 1, 2012 Linux Yes GPL Yes Python Yes
Synapse [6] Synapse core team 0.2.99.1 January 28, 2015 Linux Yes GPLv3 Yes Vala Yes
Unity Dash Canonical Ltd. 7.3.0[7] June 19, 2014 Ubuntu Yes GPLv3 Yes Vala Yes ("lenses" and "scopes")

OS X[edit]

These desktop application launchers work with Apple OS X operating systems only.

Creator Latest stable version OS Free according to the FSF Software license Open source Programming language Plugin support
Alfred Running with Crayons 3.0.3 OS X No Proprietary No Objective-C Yes
Butler Peter Maurer 4.1.6 OS X No Proprietary No Objective-C Yes
DragThing James Thomson 5.9.11 OS X No Proprietary No C++ Yes
LaunchBar Objective Development 6.5 OS X No Proprietary No Objective-C Yes
Quicksilver Blacktree Software 1.3.4 OS X Yes Apache License Yes Objective-C Yes

Cross platform[edit]

These desktop application launchers work with two or more different operating systems.

Creator Latest stable version Release date OS Free according to the FSF Software license Open source Programming language Plugin support
Launchy Josh Karlin 2.5.0 April 4, 2010 Microsoft Windows, Linux, OS X Yes GPL Yes C++ (Qt) Yes

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ executor homepage
  2. ^ Keypirinha homepage
  3. ^ "Awn in Launchpad". https://launchpad.net. Retrieved 5 August 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  4. ^ "suckless.org software that sucks less". http://suckless.org/. Retrieved 5 August 2014.  External link in |website= (help)
  5. ^ Rogers, Chris. "Do 0.95.1 released". https://launchpad.net. Retrieved 4 August 2014.  Missing |last1= in Authors list (help); External link in |website= (help)
  6. ^ synapse-project
  7. ^ "Unity". https://launchpad.net. Retrieved 4 August 2014.  External link in |website= (help)

External links[edit]