blaunch is a small tool written in perl/tk which shows a bar with buttons/icons in X. If you press a button, a program will be launched. You may customize the bar and icons to your own liking using the configuration file.

It's written primarily for window managers which don't have such a handy button bar of them selfs (i.e. afterstep - because it's wharf sucks eggs), and because I was bored and found out about perl/tk.


blaunch requires Perl and the Perl/Tk module installed on your system in order to work. You may download Perl from:


and the Perl/tk module from:



blaunch doesn't really need to be installed, but you could copy the blaunch file to a directory in your path (/usr/local/bin, for example) for convenience.

Blaunch will look for the configuration file in several places:

~/.blaunch.conf     (your home directory)
/etc/blaunc.conf    (global configuration)

If it can't find a configuration file, the execution will be aborted, and an error message printed.

You should copy the icons directory somewhere too. I suggest something like:



Blaunch configuration consists out of a single configuration file, called blaunch.conf. This file may either be placed global on your system in the /etc/ directory:


or your personal configuration file, in your homedirectory:


(remember the dot)

In the configuration file, each line (lines starting with # or % and empty lines not included) define a single button. Such a line consists out of a number of elements, 4 to be precise. The elements are seperated by a comma ( , )

Here's what the four elements represent:

  • path and filename of icon,
  • background color of button (specify in html format #RRGGBB),
  • background color when mouse is over button (specify in html format #RRGGBB),
  • command to execute when button is clicked


/usr/local/blaunch/icons/bl_terminal.gif, #606060, #808080, xterm -rv -e mutt

Will give you a button (which becomes a lighter shade of grey when the mouse passes over it) with bl_terminal.gif as the icon, which will start a x-terminal with mutt in it.

Lines which start with a # are comments, and are ignored by blaunch, as are empty lines. Lines which start with a %-sign are special configuration lines. Currently there is only one special command:




That last one (horizontal) is the default, and is therefor not neccesary to specify.

For a complete example of a configuration file, see the blaunch.conf file which came with the tar.gz file.

blaunch is Copyright by Ferry Boender, licensed under the General Public License (GPL)

Copyright (C), 2000-2013 by Ferry Boender <ferry.boender AT gelectricmonk.nl>

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, Inc., 675 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

For more information, see the COPYING file supplied with this program.