FreeBSD Desktop – Part 8 – Key Components – Application Launcher

In the Part 8 of the FreeBSD Desktop series I would like to describe key components of self made custom desktop environment such as:

  • Window Manager
  • Status Bar
  • Task Bar
  • Wallpaper Handling
  • Application Launcher
  • Keyboard/Mouse Shortcuts
  • Locking Solution
  • Blue Light Spectrum Suppress

Today we will focus on the fifth part – the Application Launcher. In the next series each of these components configuration would also be described along with eventual needed scripts.

You may also check earlier articles of the FreeBSD Desktop series:

Application Launcher

While not being any crucial role of the desktop environment it have its uses and sometimes save time. As its not hard to add this ‘feature’ to our setup I will evaluate two light and fast solutions that fulfill that role:

  • Dmenu
  • Rofi


Lets start with resources, the Rofi implementation of application launcher uses almost 3 times more RAM – 21 MB – then Dmenu solution – 8 MB.

16952 vermaden        1  24    0 13860K  8968K select  0   0:00   1.76% dmenu
86078 vermaden        3  24    0 32980K 21712K select  0   0:00   2.54% rofi

The Dmenu is also faster while Rofi have more eye candy and colors.


As Dmenu suits better to this ‘minimalist’ yet functional desktop I will use it instead of Rofi, but feel free to experiment between them and choose best option for You.

This Dmenu setup – after being run – will cover the Dzen2 status bar with filtered commands fitting nicely into the setup, here is how it looks in action.

Desktop without Dmenu launched.


Desktop with Dmenu launched and with alc characters inserted to ‘filter’ commands in the search of a calculator application.



While Dmenu is doing a good job here lets have a look how Rofi behaves in that role.

While I use a custom script for Dmenu – which I will present later in the series – the Rofi requires more simple command.

% rofi -show run -theme solarized_alternate -font "Monaco 8"

Here is how Rofi looks in action.

For the record, I also entered same alc characters into Rofi to ‘filter’ commands in the search of a calculator application.

While Dmenu has very narrow ‘specialization’ the Rofi can also be used in other scenarios which are described on the project site.




7 thoughts on “FreeBSD Desktop – Part 8 – Key Components – Application Launcher

  1. Pingback: FreeBSD Desktop – Part 9 – Key Components – Keyboard/Mouse Shortcuts | vermaden

  2. Pingback: FreeBSD Desktop – Part 10 – Key Components – Locking Solution | vermaden

  3. Pingback: FreeBSD Desktop – Part 11 – Key Components – Blue Light Spectrum Suppress | vermaden

  4. Pingback: FreeBSD Desktop (8) | 0ddn1x: tricks with *nix

  5. Pingback: FreeBSD Desktop – Part 12 – Configuration – Openbox | vermaden

  6. Pingback: FreeBSD Desktop – Part 13 – Configuration – Dzen2 | vermaden

  7. Pingback: FreeBSD Desktop – Part 14 – Configuration – Tint2 | vermaden

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