Task launchers

April 10, 2017 — July 2, 2020

computers are awful
faster pussycat
Figure 1

App launchers. One of the realms, like music players, wherein the overhead of auditioning the many candidates is so large that my brain shuts down in choice fatigue and I use none of them. See The slant overview for yet more.

The built-in GNOME launcher is pretty good.

ulauncher is popular, lthough it is electron-based and therefore large and slow. Also support python extensions, and they seem to be both active and diverse.

albert (open source)

Access everything with virtually zero effort. Run applications, open files or their paths, open bookmarks in your browser, search the web, calculate things and a lot more …

Albert is a desktop agnostic launcher. Its goals are usability and beauty, performance and extensibility. It is written in C++ and based on the Qt framework.

It has python extensions although they do not seem terribly active

rofi attracts much fannish attention and ahs a 733+ hack0rz aesthetic.

App launcher Zazu offers many many features and plugins and seems to be active, plus cross-platform.

A fully extensible and open source launcher for hackers, creators and dabblers. It comes with sane defaults to make it useful out of the box. But everything can be changed to fit your needs. Don’t let others tell you the best way to be productive, configure it to be perfect for you.

It’s another gigantic electron app, so you can kiss your RAM goodbye.


Kupfer is an interface for quick and convenient access to applications and their documents.

The most typical use is to find a specific application and launch it. We have tried to make Kupfer easy to extend with plugins so that this quick-access paradigm can be extended to many more objects than just applications.

[…] Kupfer is a Python program that allows loading extension modules at runtime. A plugin is equivalent to one Python module implemented as one .py file or as a Python package.


Synapse is a semantic launcher written in Vala that you can use to start applications as well as find and access relevant documents and files by making use of the Zeitgeist engine.

Do comes from, but is not restricted to, GNOME so that might be good?