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 Software license Open source Programming language Plugin support
Appetizer Laurent Cozic 1.4.6.494 February 13, 2010 GPL Yes C++, wxWidgets Yes
ASuite SalvadorSoftware 1.5.1.2 May 24, 2008 GPL Yes Delphi No
Classic Shell Ivo Beltchev 4.3.1 August 12, 2017 MIT Yes C++ Yes (via shell namespace extensions inside the menu)
LiberKey Captel SARL 5.8.1129 November 30, 2015 Proprietary No ? No
PortableApps.com Platform Rare Ideas, LLC 15.0.2 May 17, 2018 GPL Yes[note 1] Delphi No
SliderDock Dimitri Roozendaal 1.21 October 11, 2010 Creative Commons No ? No
  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
9menu Arnold Robbins 1.8 June 1, 2004 Linux GPL Yes C No
Avant Window Navigator Neil J. Patel 0.4.2 [1] November 27, 2013 Linux GPL Yes C Yes
dmenu dwm developers 4.5[2] December 19, 2011 Linux MIT License Yes C No
GNOME Do GNOME Do Developers 0.95.1[3] 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
Unity Dash Canonical Ltd. 7.3.0[4] June 19, 2014 Ubuntu GPLv3 Yes Vala Yes ("lenses" and "scopes")

macOS[edit]

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

Creator Latest stable version Software license Open source Programming language Plugin support
Alfred Running with Crayons 3.0.3 Proprietary No Objective-C Yes
Butler Peter Maurer 4.1.6 Proprietary No Objective-C Yes
DragThing James Thomson 5.9.11 Proprietary No C++ Yes
LaunchBar Objective Development 6.9.5 Proprietary No Objective-C Yes
Quicksilver Blacktree Software 1.3.4 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
Launchy Josh Karlin 2.5.0 April 4, 2010 Microsoft Windows, Linux, macOS GPL Yes C++ (Qt) Yes

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Awn in Launchpad". Launchpad. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  2. ^ "suckless.org software that sucks less". suckless.org. Retrieved 5 August 2014.
  3. ^ Rogers, Chris. "Do 0.95.1 released". Launchpad. Retrieved 4 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Unity". Launchpad. Retrieved 4 August 2014.

External links[edit]