When comparing Launchy vs Rofi, the Slant community recommends Rofi for most people. In the question“What are the best app launchers for UNIX-like systems?” Rofi is ranked 1st while Launchy is ranked 11th. The most important reason people chose Rofi is:
e.g.: <code>run: st toxic</code> Runs a tox client in the terminal emulator "st". <code>run: maim ~/Images/screenshots</code> take a screenshot with "maim" and save it to given location.
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Pro .deb files available for Debian based distros
For those using Debian based distros Launchy is very easy to install as their website has 32 and 64bit .deb files available. For all other diistros Launchy will have to be compiled from source.
Pro Easily themed with many available on the web
Launchy can be easily themedby placing themes into the Launchy theme folder and then selecting that theme from within the apps settings. There are also many user created themes available which is great for those that want their launcher to match the rest of their OS's theme.
Pro Can run commands
<code>run: st toxic</code> Runs a tox client in the terminal emulator "st".
<code>run: maim ~/Images/screenshots</code> take a screenshot with "maim" and save it to given location.
Pro Minimalist design, yet can use customizable themes
Also it's easy to make use of your own "plugin" (scripts).
Pro Case insensitive
Instead of having to worry about case sensitive characters, you can use caps or lowercase wherever you please without causing any issues.
Pro Great keybindings
They seem to be emacs based.
Pro Resource efficient
Pro No resource usage when you're not using it
Other launchers often run in the background to be prepared for showing the launcher. Rofi doesn't do this.
Pro Clipboard history extension
Greenclip adds clipboard manager functionality.
Pro Greatly maintained
Pro Easily switch windows without mouse
Con Small selection of plugins
The official plugin page on Launchy's homepage hosts just 11 plugins.
Launchy was last updated in 2010.
Con One of the most poorly documented launchers for new users
Install Rofi and google how to actually start or use it. Sure, there's plenty of Arch users screaming about dmenu, showing off editing of config files, integrating it with i3 or this or that, but how do we actually:
1) Start it.
2) Use it.
Rofi seemed intriguing, because it was ranked #1 on slant, but it may be better to use a third party dock in Xfce, because there's simply no resource on how to use Rofi for a complete newbie.
Con Lacks a default "blank slate" launch behavior
Unlike Ulauncher, Albert and similar launcher there's no generic "enable everything" launch behavior. You can configure Rofi to do almost this, but it's whitelist based, so you'd have to reconfigure it if you install or uninstall a plugin, and Rofi has to know if the plugin should be part of the combi mode or treated as an isolated mode.
Con Lacks conventions for plugins
Some other launchers have stricter plugin/extension APIs, making the plugin behavior more consistent.
For example plugins in Rofi respond to your choice differently (at least by default). Some output the result to stdout (like the calc mode) and others add the result to the clipboard (the emoji mode/plugin). And there's no API for plugins to add their own config option. They can check your CLI arguments, but that's not a perfect solution as different plugins could implement the same argument to mean different things.
Con Lacks keywords to switch between modes
You can switch between modes with ctrl+tab by default, but if you have a lot of modes this is slow.
Con Issues on Wayland
If you use Wayland, then Rofi may fail to grab keypresses or inputs, or may fail altogether. Works fine if you switch to X11.
Con Issues when Caps Lock is active
When typing with Caps Lock activated, it's impossible to use Backspace. Rofi eventually freezes in this scenario.