pdmenu(1) simple full screen menu program


pdmenu [options] [menufile ...]


pdmenu is a simple menu program that displays a menu from which the user can pick programs to run. Submenus are supported.

When you run pdmenu , you will be presented with a menu. Simply use the arrow keys to move to the program you want to run, and press Enter to run the program. When the program ends, you will be returned to the menu.

If you are running pdmenu at the linux console, and gpm is running, you can move the mouse and click to navigate through the menus.

Some menu items are actually submenus, and will take you to another menu. Others may cause a text edit window to be displayed, where you can enter parameters for a command before running it. Still others may run a command, and display the output in a window.


Here are all keys you need to get around in pdmenu:
[up arrow], 8, -
Move up one line in the menu.
[down arrow], 2, +
Move down one line.
[page up], [ctrl-u]
Move up an entire screen.
[page down], [space], [ctrl-v]
Move down an entire screen.
Move to the first entry of the menu.
Move to the last entry of the menu.
Exit the current menu, or exit pdmenu if used on the first menu. Does not work in the text edit windows. (This will not work if there is also a hotkey set up for 'q', the hotkey takes precedence.)
Close the currently active window, and return to the previous window, or exit pdmenu if used on the first menu.
Exit pdmenu immediately.
Force a redraw of the screen.
Launch the selected menu item. In a text edit window, closes the window.
Performs a destructive backspace in a text edit window.
Some letters of a menu item may be highlighted. These are hotkeys; simply press the highlighted letter to select the next menu item with that hotkey.


-h, --help
Display usage summary and exit.
-c, --color
Use color. By default, pdmenu will display in black and white mode. If your terminal supports color, use this switch.
-u, --unpark
"Unparks" the cursor from the bottom of the screen. When this option is selected, the cursor moves to be on the line of the menu that is currently selected. This makes pdmenu more useable with speech synthesis systems that need to know what line is the current line on the screen.
-mmenuid, --menu=menuid
Instead of displaying the first menu from the menufile, select the menu with the id "menuid" and display it.
-q, --quit
By default, at the opening menu, 'q' will exit pdmenu. If the -q switch is specified, this will not be the case. This is useful if you want to prevent the user from ever exiting pdmenu. (This also disables control-c and the right mouse button from exiting pdmenu.)
-r, --retro
This makes pdmenu use an old style for displaying menus. Menus in the background don't change color, or lose their hotkeys. Note that this will also be a little bit faster than the default on slow terminals and the like.
-l, --lowbit
By default, pdmenu will use nice high bit line drawing characters if it thinks your terminal is capable. Sometimes it gets this wrong and you get borders that look all messed up. Then you should use this --lowbit switch to force it to use low bit line drawing characters.
-n, --numeric
Disables the use of the keys 2 and 8 for moving up and down. This is useful if you want to use numbered hotkeys.
menufile ...
Specify a menu definition file or files to use. If you specify multiple files, they will all be loaded in together. By default, the first menu in the first menufile will be displayed when pdmenu starts, but this can be overridden by the --menu= option. If menufile is "-", pdmenu will read standard input as a menu file.


To use the mouse to cut and paste as usual, hold down on the shift key when you use the mouse.


Default config file. See pdmenurc(5) for details.
If this exists, it overrides /etc/pdmenurc. See pdmenurc(5) for details.


Set this variable to make pdmenu to use color by default.


Redistribution is subject to the GNU public license.


See the file BUGS that came with pdmenu for the current buglist.


Joey Hess, <[email protected]>.