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Auxlaunch is a simple, "finger-friendly" app launcher and window-switcher. It (optionally) appears when the "AUX" button is pressed. The top on-screen button changes function when the on-screen buttons below are pressed.



Use the top, on-screen button to launch an application, enter a menu group, or switch to another window. To cycle through apps, groups, or windows, press the on-screen buttons below.

The top button changes function based on the most recently used adjust (arrow) buttons.

The app launch items are configured in a comma delimited text file (.auxlaunchrc) in the user's home directory. Items such as "Suspend", "Cancel", and "Quit" can be configured too. Auxlaunch uses stock GTK icons or images from files.

Note: Auxlaunch is beta may be a bit rough around the edges. :-)


Edit the "~/.auxlaunchrc" file.

  1. Create a new menu group (for items that follow) with a line containing group name in quotes followed by a comma.
  2. For item icons, specify a stock GTK icon identifier or a path to an existing image.
  3. Use "(quit)", "(cancel)", or "(reload)" to create items to hide Auxlaunch, stop Auxlaunch, or reread Auxlaunch's configuration.
  4. Use a "-" in the first column to indicate titles of windows that should not appear in the window-switching list.


Use: "auxlaunch -option1 -option2". Command line options include:

  • -dms = Include items from Debian Menu System.
  • -nowm = No window manager. (Do not show window switching buttons).
  • -right = Swap app-launchning and window-switching buttons (right for left).
  • -hide = Cause AUX button to hide auxlaunch (when it is displayed).
  • -simple = Use "change" buttons for grp/app/win selecting (instead of up/down buttons).
  • -noaux = Do not react to AUX button. (Run auxlaunch again to unhide.)


Python and PyGTK are required. Package "wmctrl" is required for window (app) switching. If installing by hand, make sure to place the ".auxlaunchrc" file in your home directory.

Download (from external site)


Auxlaunch shown here in normal and "simple" modes. Both shown underneath the cool "openmoko-panel-plugin" app:



Latest Changes

Version 0.6

  • Changed code to open rc file in user's home directory.
  • Changed app launch code to use fork and execvp.
  • Fixed bug where mode not set to WIN on gaining focus
  • Added '-noaux' feature as alternative to claiming the aux button.
  • Added code to enforce single instance and signal any currently running auxlaunch process.
  • Started using version control (at
  • Removed pesky /r's. Thanks to Timo for the alert.
  • DMS: Shortened 'Applicatons' to 'Apps'

Version 0.5-2

  • Added license, comments, and file for GPL.
  • Fixed bug where "go" button was hardcoded to 3 columns.
  • Added window title filtering ('-' in first column of rc file).
  • Added chrysn's '(reload)' feature.

Version 0.5

  • Moved to using single, top-level, 'go" button for app-launch, group-change, win-switch.
  • Added "group" feature to provide menu-like associations of apps. (For now, only one level.)
  • Made DMS file parsing slightly more robust.
  • Added "-hide" options to integrate Ben's AUX-button-minimize feature.
  • Added "-simple' feature to simplify user interface.
  • Reorganized code to try Model-View-Controller paradigm.
  • More code comments!
  • General code rewrite.
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