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kupfer is a simple, flexible, launcher for Gnome

Credits: Copyright 2007–2011 Ulrik Sverdrup <>
Licence: GNU General Public License v3 (or any later version)

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.


This project is configured for the Waf build system; Installation follows the steps:

./waf configure


./waf install


sudo ./waf install

You can use --prefix=$PREFIX when configuring to assign an installation spot. By default, Kupfer is installed for all users. Installing only for your user, the prefix ~/.local is often used; you just have to make sure that ~/.local/bin is in your $PATH.

About Waf

Waf is included in both the distributable tarball and the repository (so that full source code is incuded. See the file waf for author and licensing information).

Waf was acquired through on Saturday, 25 February 2012. The following files extracted:

./waf-light -> ./waf
./waflib    -> ./waflib
./ChangeLog -> ./Waf.ChangeLog

./waflib/Tools/*  some files excluded
./waflib/extras/* some files excluded

No file contents touched.

Build Requirements

  • Python 2.6 or Python 3
  • intltool
  • optionally: rst2man (python-docutils) to install the manpage
  • optionally: xml2po (gnome-doc-utils) to install mallard help pages

Runtime Requirements

Kupfer requires Python 2.6 or later, and the following important libraries:

  • gtk python bindings, GTK+ version 2.20 [1]
  • glib python bindings (pygobject) 2.18
  • dbus python bindings
  • python-xdg
[1] GTK+ 2.20 required for using full support. Kupfer is known to run with version 2.18 as well.

Optional, but very recommended runtime dependencies:

  • python-keybinder (see below)
  • wnck python bindings
  • gvfs
  • keyring python module

Opportunistic dependencies

  • The deprecated 'gnome' module is used for session connection as fallback
  • If available, 'setproctitle' is used to set the process name
  • python-appindicator for ubuntu-style notification icon
  • nautilus-python for nautilus selected file
  • python-gdata for Google plugins

Some plugins will require additional python modules!


The program is installed as kupfer into $PREFIX/bin. Only one instance can be active for one user at a given time. Normal use of kupfer requires an active dbus session bus.

Keybinder Module

Keybinder is a module for global keyboard shortcuts that originates from tomboy.

You can use kupfer without the keybinder module, for example by assigning a global keybinding to the kupfer binary, but it not the recommended way.


Please read Documentation/ and Documentation/Manpage.rst for technical documentation. User documentation is installed as GNOME (Mallard) help pages, available under the "Kupfer Help" object in the program itself.

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