xstarter - GNU/Linux terminal application launcher


xstarter is an application launcher for Linux

It lives in terminal and works well with tiling window managers (e.g. xmonad, i3 etc).

xstarter screenshot


Running xstarter

xstarter needs to be launched from a terminal ($ xstarter). It is useful to run it using a key binding, preferably by binding your preferred key to a command starting xstarter from a terminal of your choice, e.g. xterm -e xstarter. Alternatively, you can simply bind it to xstarter in which case xstarter will open itself in a terminal.

You can also create an alias in your shell (e.g. bash, zsh): alias xs=xstarter.

It should run on any modern terminal. It is tested on: xterm, rxvt, gnome-terminal, xfce4-terminal, konsole. In case of any problems please report it.


Configuration file is available and includes comments that explain configuration variables. It is located in the ~/.xstarter.d/ directory.

Providing arguments to applications

You can provide arguments to applications you wish to open.

If the number of search results is equal to 1, you can provide arguments the selected application should be started with, e.g. surf gnu.org

You can provide multiple arguments, e.g. emacs -nw -Q

You can select the application you want to provide arguments for by pressing Tab key

This feature works both with GUI (press Enter to start) and terminal applications (press C-o to start)

Key shortcuts

Use numbers 1..9 and 0 to open an application from the list.

By default, the following shortcuts are available:

source code

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