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]

Windows[edit]

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

Creator Latest stable version Release date OS Software license Open source Programming language Plugin support
Appetizer Laurent Cozic 1.4 February 13, 2010 Microsoft Windows GPL Yes C++, wxWidgets Yes
ASuite SalvadorSoftware 1.5.1.2 May 24, 2008 Microsoft Windows GPL Yes Delphi No
Classic Shell Ivo Beltchev 4.2.7 May 25, 2016 Microsoft Windows Proprietary No C++ Yes (via shell namespace extensions inside the menu)
Executor[1] Martin Bresson 0.99.12b November 9, 2013 Microsoft Windows Proprietary No  ? No
Keypirinha[2] Jean-Charles Lefebvre 2.18.2 November 13, 2017 Microsoft Windows Freeware No C++, Python3 Yes (Python3 scripts)
LiberKey Captel SARL 5.8.1114 November 15, 2014 Microsoft Windows Proprietary No ? No
PortableApps.com Platform Rare Ideas, LLC 14.1 May 13, 2016 Microsoft Windows GPL Yes[note 1] Delphi No
SliderDock Dimitri Roozendaal 1.21 October 11, 2010 Microsoft Windows Creative Commons No ? No
SyMenu[3] UGMFree.it 5.10 March 20, 2017 Microsoft Windows Freeware No C# Yes
XIA Links[4] CENTREL Solutions 3.0 January 27, 2017 Microsoft Windows Proprietary No VB.NET 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 Software license Open source Programming language Plugin support
Ulauncher [5] Aleksandr Gornostal 3.11.1 September 2, 2017 Linux GPLv3 Yes Python Yes
xlunch Tomas Matejicek 1.0 December 12, 2016 Linux GPLv3 Yes C No
9menu Arnold Robbins 1.8 June 1, 2004 Linux GPL Yes C No
Avant Window Navigator Neil J. Patel 0.4.2 [6] November 27, 2013 Linux GPL Yes C Yes
dmenu dwm developers 4.5[7] December 19, 2011 Linux MIT License Yes C No
GNOME Do GNOME Do Developers 0.95.1[8] January 23, 2014 Linux GPL Yes C Sharp Yes
Katapult Katapult Developers 0.3.2.1 July 23, 2008 Linux with KDE GPL Yes C++ Yes
Kupfer Kupfer 208 June 1, 2012 Linux GPL Yes Python Yes
Synapse [9] Synapse core team 0.2.99.1 January 28, 2015 Linux GPLv3 Yes Vala Yes
Unity Dash Canonical Ltd. 7.3.0[10] June 19, 2014 Ubuntu GPLv3 Yes Vala Yes ("lenses" and "scopes")
Albert Manuel Schneider 0.11.2 [11] May 13, 2016 Linux GPLv3 Yes C++ Yes

macOS[edit]

These desktop application launchers work with the Apple macOS operating system only.

Creator Latest stable version OS Software license Open source Programming language Plugin support
Alfred Running with Crayons 3.0.3 macOS Proprietary No Objective-C Yes
Butler Peter Maurer 4.1.6 macOS Proprietary No Objective-C Yes
DragThing James Thomson 5.9.11 macOS Proprietary No C++ Yes
LaunchBar Objective Development 6.5 macOS Proprietary No Objective-C Yes
Quicksilver Blacktree Software 1.3.4 macOS 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 Software license Open source Programming language Plugin support
Cerebro Alexandr Subbotin 0.2.1 November 10, 2016 Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS MIT Yes Javascript Yes
Launchy Josh Karlin 2.5.0 April 4, 2010 Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS GPL Yes C++ (Qt) Yes

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ executor homepage
  2. ^ Keypirinha homepage
  3. ^ SyMenu home page
  4. ^ XIA Links homepage
  5. ^ Ulauncher.io
  6. ^ "Awn in Launchpad". Launchpad. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  7. ^ "suckless.org software that sucks less". suckless.org. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  8. ^ Rogers, Chris. "Do 0.95.1 released". Launchpad. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  9. ^ synapse-project
  10. ^ "Unity". Launchpad. Retrieved 4 August 2014. 
  11. ^ Albert Releases

External links[edit]