dmenu is a fast and lightweight dynamic menu for X. It reads arbitrary text from stdin, and creates a menu with one item for each line. The user can then select an item, through the arrow keys or typing a part of the name, and the line is printed to stdout. dmenu_run is a wrapper that ships with the dmenu distribution that allows its use as an application launcher.
You may run dmenu with
For dmenu various patches exist that extend the default functionality. Consider installing one of the following packages:
- AUR: Xft font support and setting a custom height for the bar using -h <pixels> flag
- AUR: Xft font support
- AUR: Xft font support, custom height, and mouse support
- AUR: Xft font support and transparency
Now, you will want to attach the
dmenu_run command to a keystroke combination. This can be done either via your window manager or desktop environment configuration, or with a program like . See the Hotkeys article for more information.
Also, it is helpful to Prelink dmenu.
Displaying Custom Items
Custom items may be shown by piping them into dmenu. For example:
$ echo -e "first\nsecond\nthird" | dmenu
dmenu can be patched to allow using xft fonts which do not seem to be working with the version from upstream. The patched version can be found in the AUR package from the AUR. Using this version, fonts like Droid Sans Mono can be set.
$ dmenu_run -fn 'Droid Sans Mono-9'
Support for custom aliases
dmenu does not support custom aliases located for instance in
~/.zsh_aliases. If you want to have support for aliases, run
dmenu_run_aliases from AUR and make sure to have your aliases stored in one of the two user config files above.
dmenu_run results in an error similar to this:
$ dmenu_run /usr/bin/dmenu_run: line 15: 1879 Segmentation fault dmenu "$@" < "$cache"
And running dmenu crashes like the following:
$ echo "blahblahblah"
$LANG is set to something valid. For example, this problem may occur if one needs to set
en_US.UTF_8 or something similar in
/etc/locale.conf (see locale.conf).
Keep in mind that the value contained in
$LANG must be uncommented in
/etc/locale.gen and generated via locale-gen as well.
- dmenu – The official dmenu website
- Yeganesh – a light wrapper that reorders commands based on popularity. Written in Haskell
- xboomx – yet another light wrapper that reorders commands based on popularity. Written in Python. Minimal dependencies
- AUR (AUR) – Very fast dmenu application launcher
- AUR (AUR) – A simple Dmenu-based application launcher. Launches binaries and XDG shortcuts.
- AUR (AUR) – Manages menus of application launchers, either executables or desktop files. Also opens files with launchers, desktop files, or applications associated by MIME-type. Dmenu-driven.
- AUR (AUR) – Opens files with any desktop application or executable, chosen from a menu of all possibilities found in standard locations on the system. Dmenu-driven.
- Dmenu Hacking thread – Dmenu hacking thread in arch linux forums. An overview of scripts is provided in the dmenu_scripts collection.
- AUR (AUR) – Dmenu-based window switcher that works regardless of workspace or minimization.