A command line tool that generates XDG menus for several window managers
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README.md

ABOUT

xdgmenumaker is a command line tool, written in python, that generates application menus using xdg information, by scanning *.desktop files in all $XDG_DATA_DIRS/applications directories. All applications are sorted according to the main categories as specified by freedesktop.org.

The menu entries that are generated by xdgmenumaker are localised according to the running user locale settings.

xdgmenumaker currently supports generating menus for:

  • blackbox
  • compizboxmenu
  • fluxbox
  • fvwm
  • icewm
  • jwm
  • pekwm
  • twm and derivatives such as ctwm and vtwm
  • windowmaker

xdgmenumaker requires:

  • Python 2.7 or 3.x
  • pyxdg
  • pygtk (for Python 2)
  • pygobject and gobject-instrospection (for Python 3)
  • Pillow (optional)

USAGE

Blackbox

To generate an application menu for blackbox, run xdgmenumaker like this:

$ xdgmenumaker -f blackbox > ~/.blackbox/xdg_menu

and then change your main blackbox menu to include this file as a submenu. For example, add this somewhere in your ~/.blackbox/menu file:

[include] (~/.blackbox/xdg_menu)

You can add the xdgmenumaker command as another item in your menu, if you want to update it, without having to run the command manually again:

[exec] (Update Blackbox Menu) {xdgmenumaker -f blackbox > ~/.blackbox/xdg_menu}

Compiz Boxmenu

There are two ways to have an xdg menu in compiz-boxmenu. The first one, auto-updates the menu, every time the menu is called. The second one, updates the menu only when the user wants to.

Dynamic Menus

Edit your ~/.config/compiz/boxmenu/menu.xml file with your favorite text editor and add a block of code like this inside the root <menu> element:

<item type="launcher">
  <command mode2="pipe">xdgmenumaker -nif compizboxmenu</command>
  <icon>applications-other</icon>
  <name>Applications</name>
</item>

Alternatively, you can also run compiz-boxmenu-editor and click the dropdown for new menu files or menu items. Select launcher to create a new launcher. Set the name of the launcher to whatever you want. This will be the display name for the pipe menu. Then enter in:

xdgmenumaker -nif compizboxmenu

for the command entry. Click the combobox next to the command text box and switch that to "Pipe".

Static Menus

Edit your ~/.config/compiz/boxmenu/menu.xml file with your favorite text editor and paste the output of:

$ xdgmenumaker -if compizboxmenu

into ~/.config/compiz/boxmenu/menu.xml.

Alternatively, you can also run compiz-boxmenu-editor and click the button that says "Generate menu entries from a pipemenu script". In the dialog box that pops up, type in:

xdgmenumaker -nif compizboxmenu

to append the statically generated menu to any menu file you want.

Fluxbox

To generate an application menu for fluxbox, run xdgmenumaker like this:

$ xdgmenumaker -f fluxbox > ~/.fluxbox/xdg_menu

and then change your main fluxbox menu to include this file as a submenu. For example, add this somewhere in your ~/.fluxbox/menu file:

[include] (~/.fluxbox/xdg_menu)

You can add the xdgmenumaker command as another item in your menu, if you want to update it, without having to run the command manually again:

[exec] (Update Fluxbox Menu) {xdgmenumaker -f fluxbox > ~/.fluxbox/xdg_menu}

Fvwm

To generate an application menu for Fvwm, run xdgmenumaker like this:

$ xdgmenumaker -f fvwm > ~/.fvwm/xdgmenu

and then edit your main Fvwm configuration file and add a line to read that file:

read xdgmenu

and also include it somewhere in your main menu, for example:

AddToMenu MenuFvwmRoot  "Root Menu"             Title
+                       "Applications"          Popup xdgmenu

You can add the xdgmenumaker command as another item in your menu, if you want to update it:

+ "Update Fvwm Menu" Exec xdgmenumaker -f fvwm > ~/.fvwm/xdgmenu

and restart Fvwm to apply the changes.

IceWM

To generate an application menu for icewm, run xdgmenumaker like this:

$ xdgmenumaker -f icewm > ~/.icewm/appmenu

or if you want icons in your menu:

$ xdgmenumaker -i -f icewm > ~/.icewm/appmenu

and you can then edit your ~/.icewm/menu file and add this line somewhere:

include appmenu

You can add the xdgmenumaker command as another item in your menu, if you want to update it, without having to run the command manually again:

prog "Update Menu" _none_ xdgmenumaker -i -f icewm > ~/.icewm/appmenu

NOTE: If you don't request icons in the menu, or if an icon is not found for a certain app, the icon name in the menu for that app is set to "_none_". This doesn't actually set the icon for that app to none. Icewm menu entries should always include an icon. So, by pointing it to a non existing icon, you essentially set it to use no icon. If you actually have an icewm icon named "_none_", that one will be used instead.

JWM

You can edit your ~/.jwmrc file and add a line that generates the applications menu, like this:

<Include>exec: xdgmenumaker -n -i -f jwm</Include>

You need to put that line somewhere in the RootMenu section of the ~/.jwmrc file.

You can update the menu with:

$ jwm -reload

Or you can restart JWM and the updated menu should appear. The menu will be recreated every time JWM is started, restarted, or when the menu is reloaded with the above command. You can even add a menu item that will refresh the menu, like this:

<Program label="Refresh Menu">jwm -reload</Program>

pekwm

There are two ways to have an XDG menu in pekwm. The first one, auto-updates the menu, every time the menu is called. The second one, updates the menu only when the user wants to.

Dynamic Menus

Edit your ~/.pekwm/menu file with your favourite text editor and add a line like the following one in the location that you want the dynamically generated menu to appear:

Entry = "" { Actions = "Dynamic /usr/bin/xdgmenumaker -n -i -f pekwm --pekwm-dynamic" }

Restart pekwm and the generated menu should appear. The menu will be automatically generated every time you access it, so it will always be up to date. But since xdgmenumaker will run every time you access the menu, the menu might not appear instantly, especially if you are using an older PC.

Static Menus

Run:

$ xdgmenumaker -n -i -f pekwm > ~/.pekwm/appsmenu

to create a file with the menu contents. Then edit your ~/.pekwm/menu file to include that menu, by adding a line like the following, in the location that you want the menu to appear:

INCLUDE = "/home/your_user_name/.pekwm/appsmenu"

Restart pekwm and the generated menu should appear. The menu is static and if you add/remove any applications, you will have to run the xdgmenumaker command and restart pekwm all over again to update it. The advantage is that there will be no delay in displaying the menu.

TWM and Derivatives

You can create a menu for TWM running xdgmenumaker like this:

$ xdgmenumaker -f twm > ~/.twm-xdgmenu

If you're using the standard TWM, then unfortunately you'll have to manually copy/paste the contents of the generated ~/.twm-xdgmenu file into your ~/.twmrc manually. You could then add something like this to your main menu definition:

"Applications" f.menu "xdgmenu"

It could be possible to create a script that updates the menus inside the main ~/.twmrc settings file, but I'll leave that as an exercise for the user.

If you're using CTWM or VTWM, instead of manually copy/pasting the menu contents into your settings file, you could just add an include line like this:

sinclude(`/home/george/.twm-xdgmenu')

NOTE: In order for this to work with VTWM, vtwm has to be called with the -m switch.

Window Maker

There are two ways to have an xdg menu in windowmaker. The first one, auto-updates the menu, every time the menu is called. The second one, updates the menu only when the user wants to.

xdgmenumaker uses utf8 encoding and localised strings by default and has been tested only with wmaker-crm>=0.95.1. No idea if utf8 works properly with older Window Maker versions.

Dynamic Menus

Open the WindowMaker preferences tool. In the Application Menu Definition section, add a Generated Submenu in your menu, by dragging it in. Click on the menu item you just dragged in and in the preferences window, in Command, add:

xdgmenumaker -f windowmaker

Save and close the preferences window.

That command will be run every time you access that submenu, so the application list in there will be always up to date. The downside is that it will be run every time you access that submenu, so especially if you are on a very old PC, it might slow things down a bit, although probably not anything considerable.

Static Menus

Run:

$ xdgmenumaker -f windowmaker > ~/GNUstep/Defaults/xdg_menu

Then open the WindowMaker preferences tool and in the Application Menu Definition section, add an External Submenu by dragging it in your menu. Click on the menu item you just dragged in and in the preferences window, in Path for Menu, add the location of the menu file you just created:

~/GNUstep/Defaults/xdg_menu

You can add the xdgmenumaker command as another item in your menu, if you want to update it, without having to run the command manually again. In the Application Menu Definition section in the WindowMaker preferences window, add a Run Program item in your menu by dragging it your menu. Click on the menu item you just dragged in and in the preferences window, in Program to Run, add the xdgmenumaker command as mentioned above.

The downside of this method, is that the menu contents will not be updated when you install a new application or remove one. You will need to run the xfgmenumaker command every time you want the menu to be updated. The upside is that the menu will not be generated every time you access the menu. This might be a better choice for (really) older hardware.