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.

Windows[edit]

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 4.0.4 January 18, 2014 Microsoft Windows Yes MIT License (except for skins, logo, artwork etc. which is copyrighted) [1] Yes C++ Yes (via shell namespace extensions inside the menu)
LiberKey Captel SARL 5.7.0516 May 18, 2012 Microsoft Windows No Proprietary No ? No
PortableApps.com Platform Rare Ideas, LLC 11.2 October 4, 2012 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 4.12 August 17, 2015 Microsoft Windows Yes[note 2] Freeware No C# Yes
  1. ^ PortableApps.com branding is trademarked
  2. ^ It is free according with its own license

Linux[edit]

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 [2] November 27, 2013 Linux Yes GPL Yes C Yes
dmenu dwm developers 4.5[3] December 19, 2011 Linux Yes MIT License Yes C No
GNOME Do GNOME Do Developers 0.95.1[4] 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
Unity Dash Canonical Ltd. 7.3.0[5] June 19, 2014 Ubuntu Yes GPLv3 Yes Vala Yes ("lenses" and "scopes")

Mac OS X[edit]

Creator Latest stable version OS Free according to the FSF Software license Open source Programming language Plugin Support
Alfred Running with Crayons 2.0.3 Mac OS X No Proprietary No Objective-C Yes
Butler Peter Maurer 4.1.6 Mac OS X No Proprietary No Objective-C Yes
DragThing James Thomson 5.9.11 Mac OS X No Proprietary No C++ Yes
LaunchBar Objective Development 5.6.2 Mac OS X No Proprietary No Objective-C ?
Quicksilver Blacktree Software 1.2.0 Mac OS X Yes Apache License Yes Objective-C Yes

Cross platform[edit]

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, Mac OS X Yes GPL Yes C++ (Qt) Yes

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Classic Shell FAQ
  2. ^ "Awn in Launchpad". https://launchpad.net. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  3. ^ "suckless.org software that sucks less". http://suckless.org/. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  4. ^ Rogers, Chris. "Do 0.95.1 released". https://launchpad.net. Retrieved 4 August 2014.  Missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  5. ^ "Unity". https://launchpad.net. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 

External links[edit]