Nwg-launchers: GTK+ launchers for sway, i3 and some other WMs

As it’s never too late to learn something new, I decided to try and code my sgtk-menu set of launchers, written in python, from scratch in C++. By the way I’m trying to simplify their usage, by reducing the number of arguments.

Take a look at the GitHub repository for details.

Packaging status


This command creates a GNOME-like application grid, with the search box, optionally prepended with a row of favourites (most frequently used apps).

Swappshot-Mon-Mar-23-205030-2020.th.png Swappshot-Mon-Mar-23-205157-2020.th.png Swappshot-Mon-Mar-23-205248-2020.th.png


This command creates a horizontal or vertical button bar, out of a template file.

Swappshot-Mon-Mar-23-210713-2020.th.png Swappshot-Mon-Mar-23-210652-2020.th.png


This program provides 2 commands:

  • nwgdmenu - displays newline-separated stdin input as a GTK menu
  • nwgdmenu_run - creates a GTK menu out of commands found in $PATH

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@natemaia Could you take a look at PKGBUILD? I’ve never packaged C so far, so it may need improvement…

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Looks fine, couple small things I’d change.

You have a leftover line below source that’s just an address, it’s probably not gonna cause problems but it will throw a shell error, you can also use the $url in source if it’s the same

https://github.com/nwg-piotr/nwg-launchers/archive/v0.1.0.tar.gz <<< Here

This quoting looks strange

"$srcdir/"$pkgname"-$pkgver"/grid  ->  "$srcdir/$pkgname-$pkgver/grid"

Thank you! I’ll try to digest what you wrote and use in 0.1.1.

Really impressive. Any environments this won’t work on?

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Wow, top again @nwg . Keep it on.

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Grid and bar should work anywhere. Dmenu may behave oddly in tiling WMs other than sway and i3. I’ll be working on this, at least for dwm & yaxwm.

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Very nice. arcolinux offers a similar variant that is quite beautiful. I don’t know what tool Erik uses.

Looks very similar to yad scripts. I like!

Have you looked at using ‘xlunch’ code for use?

Good work! Isn’t being quarantined fun!?!?! :innocent:

Haven’t heard about it until now. The only external code I looked into was about parsing categories for use in sgtk-menu. Not yet implemented in C++, and it’s going to be difficult. Haven’t even started so far.

I like xlunch’s name… It seems to offer a nice approach; although, the implementation isn’t as good as it could be.

Keep up the good work. Uważaj na siebie i bądź bezpieczny (Gotta love deepl.com)

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The name “xlunch” suggest that it may not work on Wayland. My primary objective is sway WM.

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nwgdmenu should work well now on dwm, and - I hope - other tiling WMs, which are neither sway nor i3.

Notice: if you start WM from a script (w/o DM), only sway and i3 will be auto-detected. You may need to pass the WM name as the argument:

nwgdmenu_run -wm dwm

Issue: for some damned reason, which I can’t recognize, positioning the menu does not work properly when started from terminal. E.g. nwgdmenu_run -va b -ha l will display the menu in the bottom left corner when started as a key binding, and somewhere else if the command was issued from the terminal window. I need (much) more beer to sort this out.

Latest changes will be published in a minute.

Excellent, thank you.

AUR updated to 0.1.2

Looks great @nwg

& top for the update in there.

Great and beautiful “thing” there!!
nwggrid could be very useful in ob! I will try to bind keys to it.
The -c is supposed to change number of columns right? I only get 6 no matter what!


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Actually it’s the -n argument. See nwggrid -h.

If it comes to Openbox: I also use the bar configured to remind a dock, e.g. plank, started with a key binding.


Hi!! Got it working with a keybind now!! I was so eager to get it going that I took the wrong argument! It’s a bit slow here but that could be because of “(nwggrid:387946): Pango-WARNING **: 21:18:10.230: Invalid UTF-8 string passed to pango_layout_set_text()”, right?
Why is that happening?

Really cool this! Reminds me of Mac OS X!
I run plank (autostart) and how would I set it as a button there?


The warning may be related to your gtk theme. They happen to have errors inside. Could you try changing the theme? Also if it comes to the speed: the icon theme may significantly slow down the icons creation.

This is on Debian with Adwaita icons:

$ time nwggrid -f
14 cache entries loaded
WM: other
Locale: pl
52 .desktop entries found
Using /home/piotr/.config/nwggrid/style.css
Focused display: 0, 0, 1920, 1080
Time: 208

real	0m1,531s
user	0m0,286s
sys	0m0,041s

After changing to Papirus:

$ time nwggrid -f
15 cache entries loaded
WM: other
Locale: pl
52 .desktop entries found
Using /home/piotr/.config/nwggrid/style.css
Focused display: 0, 0, 1920, 1080
Time: 157

real	0m1,532s
user	0m0,213s
sys	0m0,040s

user + sys = 0.286 + 0.041 = 0.327 for Adwaita
user + sys = 0.213 + 0.04 = 0.253 for Papirus

womp  ~  time nwggrid -f
0 cache entries loaded
WM: openbox
Locale: sv
739 .desktop entries found
Using /home/womp/.config/nwggrid/style.css
Focused display: 0, 0, 1600, 900
Time: 860

(nwggrid:456127): Pango-WARNING **: 22:08:21.174: Invalid UTF-8 string passed to pango_layout_set_text()

real 0m3,062s
user 0m1,021s
sys 0m0,136s

theme=shades of grey

I still get the “pango-message” though! Is there anything I can do about “Invalid UTF-8 string”?

I will fiddle with it some more.