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Biont
165 Stars 12 Forks GNU General Public License v3.0 127 Commits 6 Opened issues

Description

TUI Application launcher with Desktop Entry support. Made for SwayWM, but runs anywhere

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sway-launcher-desktop Build Status

screenshot_2019-10-25-213740

This is a TUI-based launcher menu made with bash and the amazing fzf. Despite its name, it does not (read: no longer) depend on the Sway window manager in any way and can be used with just about any WM.

Features

  • Lists and executes available binaries
  • Lists and executes .desktop files (entries as well as actions)
  • Does not depend on
    xdg-utils
    . Just pure bash and
    awk
  • Shows a preview window containing
    whatis
    info of binaries and the
    Comment=
    section of .desktop files
  • History support which will highlight recently used entries
  • Colored output and glyphs for the different entry types
  • Entries are lazily piped into
    fzf
    eliminating any lag during startup
  • Optional support for the XDG Autostart specification
  • Executes arbitrary custom commands (if there are no other matches)

Installation

Make sure you have

fzf
installed and download this repository. Arch Linux users can also grab it from the AUR (thanks @turtlewit)

Configure it in Sway like this:

for_window [app_id="^launcher$"] floating enable, sticky enable, resize set 30 ppt 60 ppt, border pixel 10
set $menu exec $term --class=launcher -e /path/to/repo/sway-launcher-desktop.sh
bindsym $mod+d exec $menu

You can override the default icons/glyphs by setting the appropriate GLYPH_ variable in your $menu command, e.g.:

set $menu exec $term --class=launcher -e env GLYPH_COMMAND="" GLYPH_DESKTOP="" GLYPH_PROMPT="? " sway-launcher

By default, the launcher will use a generic & WM-agnostic command to launch the selected program. However, it will detect if its output is being piped to another program and merely print the selected command in that case - instead of launching it by itself. You can use this to integrate the launcher with other tools. For example, if you wish to launch your programs with

swaymsg exec
, you can do that like this¹:
 swaymsg exec "$(./sway-launcher-desktop.sh)"

Setup a Terminal command

Some of your desktop entries will probably be TUI programs that expect to be launched in a new terminal window. Those entries have the

Terminal=true
flag set and you need to tell the launcher which terminal emulator to use. Pass the
TERMINAL_COMMAND
environment variable with your terminal startup command to the script to use your preferred terminal emulator. The script will default to
$TERM -e

Configure application autostart

If you want to be able to autostart applications , this script provides a function to handle them for you. Simply run

sway-launcher-desktop.sh autostart
in your
.bashrc
, at the end of your i3/sway config, or wherever else you deem fit.

Extending the launcher

In addition to desktop application entries and binaries, you can extend

sway-launcher-desktop
with custom item providers. It will read the configuration of custom item providers from
$HOME/.config/sway-launcher-desktop/providers.conf
. The structure looks like this:
[my-provider]
list_cmd=echo -e 'my-custom-entry\034my-provider\034  My custom provider'
preview_cmd=echo -e 'This is the preview of {1}'
launch_cmd=notify-send 'I am now launching {1}'

The

list_cmd
generated the list of entries. For each entry, it has to print the following columns, separated by the
\034
field separator character: 1. The item to launch. This will get passed to
preview_cmd
and
launch_cmd
as
{1}
2. The name of your provider (the same as what what you put inside the brackets, so
my-provider
in this example) 3. The text that appears in the
fzf
window. You might want to prepend it with a glyph and add some color via ANSI escape codes 4. (optional) Metadata that you can pass to
preview_cmd
and
launch_cmd
as
{2}
. For example, this is used to specify a specific Desktop Action inside a .desktop file

The

preview_cmd
renders the contents of the
fzf
preview panel. You can use the template variable
{1}
in your command, which will be substituted with the value of the selected item.

The

launch_cmd
is fired when the user has selected one of the provider's entries.

Note: Pass the environment variable

PROVIDERS_FILE
to read custom providers from another file than the default
providers.conf
. The path in
PROVIDERS_FILE
can either be absolute or relative to
${HOME}/.config/sway-launcher-desktop/
.

Launcher history file

By default,

sway-launcher-desktop
stores a history of commands to make frequently used entries available more quickly. This history is stored in a file in
~/.cache/
(or
$XDG_CACHE_HOME
, if that environment variable is set). You may change the file path and name by setting the environment variable
HIST_FILE
to the desired path. Setting the variable to an empty value disables the history feature entirely.

Troubleshooting

Debug information is directed to file descriptor

3
and can be dumped using
./sway-launcher-desktop.sh 3>> ~/sway-launcher-desktop.log

¹ If you want to use this as a keybinding though, this kind of shell substitution will not work inside the config file. Here's a way to make it work

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