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Plasma application launchers

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List of alternative start menus

There are alternative "start menu" style Plasma application launchers in the KDE platform, including:

Application Launcher
The default application launcher that provides a click-through interface for finding and launching applications. Kickoff has a search facility, allowing you to type the name of the application or its description to find it.
Application dashboard logo.png
Application Dashboard
Application Dashboard is a fullscreen launcher with content applications sorted categories.
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Application Menu
This speedy and intuitive application launcher provides a classical hierarchical menu that is easily customized to give quick access to various useful applications and services.
Lancelot is a powerful application launcher which also allows launch menus to be placed on the panel. Lancelot provides search facilities, so if you know the name of the application you don't need to find your way around the menu. Lancelot is not developed anymore[1], but there is a Plasma 5 widget inspired by it Excalibur available in the KDE Store.
Homerun logo.png
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Homerun is a fullscreen launcher with content organized in tabs. As of January 2017, last updated in August 2014.[2].


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There is also KRunner, which replaces the "run command" dialog, blurs the lines between task manager, desktop search, application launcher and command executor and provides a quick way to run applications or open documents among other things.

How to change the application launcher?

To change the application launcher, right click on your current launcher and select Alternatives…

Next, choose the launcher you want to use.


How do I change which key opens the application launcher?

It's possible to do that in two ways: you may right click on your current launcher and select Configure Application Launcher…, selecting the tab Keyboard Shortcuts, clicking on the button and then typing the combination you want to use as keyboard shortcut.


You can also use System SettingsShortcutsGlobal ShortcutsPlasmaActivate Application Launcher Widget.


And if you ever want to restore the default Meta key, you can use the combination Alt+F1, which serves this exact purpose.

I can't bind the Meta key to open the Application Launcher anymore!

This issue may occur because of the way KWin binds keys. Please refer to this section.


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