AppImage Launcher Guide

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If you usage AppImage to tally applications connected immoderate Linux distribution, you whitethorn privation to instrumentality vantage of AppImage Launcher, an unfastened root instrumentality that simplifies the process of moving with AppImage packages and apps. Although AppImage Launcher isn't required for utilizing AppImage, it provides a much streamlined acquisition erstwhile moving AppImage software.

This usher explains however AppImage Launcher works, which benefits it offers, however to instal it, and however to get started utilizing it.

What Is AppImage Launcher?

AppImage Launcher is simply a programme that helps negociate AppImages. It's designed to simplify the process of organizing, updating, and removing the files that powerfulness AppImage applications.

Specifically, AppImage Launcher offers the pursuing features:

  • Automated integration of AppImage files into your desktop environment. This makes it casual to motorboat apps without having to acceptable up desktop shortcuts oregon exertion launchers manually.
  • Support for automatically launching updates to AppImage apps erstwhile a newer representation becomes available.
  • The quality to region AppImages from your strategy successful a fewer clicks.

You tin deliberation of AppImage Launcher arsenic a bundle manager for AppImages. In different words, it does for AppImages what bundle managers similar apt-get bash for Debian packages, oregon what drawback does for drawback packages: It streamlines the organization, updating, and removal of packages that you take to tally connected your system.

Related: What Is AppImage? Benefits, Drawbacks, and Getting Started

This functionality is utile due to the fact that AppImage itself doesn't connection immoderate bundle absorption features. AppImage is conscionable a mode to tally applications based connected files (called AppImages) that you tin download to your computer. If you usage AppImage without AppImage Launcher, you'll person to execute these tasks manually.

The main AppImage Launcher programme is simply a GUI tool, meaning it runs with a graphical interface. However, arsenic noted below, determination is besides a CLI hold for AppImage Launcher, which is utile if you privation to constitute scripts to automate AppImage Launcher operations.

AppImage Launcher Versions (Regular vs. Lite)

Modern versions of AppImage Launcher are disposable successful 2 main flavors: "Regular" and "Lite."

The regular mentation offers much features, particularly erstwhile it comes to integrating AppImages with your desktop environment. That's due to the fact that the regular mentation is installed arsenic a mean exertion connected your strategy utilizing basal oregon sudo privileges.

Related: Why and How to Use AppImage connected Ubuntu

In contrast, the Lite mentation of AppImage Launcher runs arsenic an AppImage itself, which means it has little entree to the strategy and truthful tin execute less privileges.

The AppImage Launcher developers urge utilizing the regular mentation of the instrumentality whenever possible. However, the Lite mentation is utile successful situations wherever you can't instal the full-featured instrumentality for immoderate crushed — which would beryllium the lawsuit if, for instance, you don't person basal privileges.

What Are the Benefits of Using AppImage Launcher?

Again, AppImage Launcher is not required for utilizing AppImage. But AppImage Launcher does connection a fig of benefits that you won't bask if you usage AppImage connected its own, including:

  • The quality to automate the retention of AppImage files successful a cardinal location.
  • Automatic integration of AppImage applications into your desktop for casual access.
  • Automatic exertion updates and removals.

Why Use the AppImage Launcher CLI (ail-cli)?

Although you get these benefits if you usage the standard, graphical mentation of AppImage Launcher, you tin treble down connected the worth of the instrumentality (if you cognize however to constitute scripts, astatine least) by besides taking vantage of the bid enactment interface (CLI) instrumentality that AppImage Launcher provides. The instrumentality is called ail-cli and is included arsenic portion of the modular AppImage Launcher package.

Using the CLI tool, you tin constitute scripts successful programming languages specified arsenic Bash oregon Perl to AppImage absorption tasks via AppImage Launcher functionality. For instance, if you wanted to integrate a acceptable of AppImage files into your desktop, you could constitute a publication that calls ail-cli to execute that task for a fixed acceptable of AppImages.

Currently, ail-cli's features are constricted to integrating and removing AppImages, but the developers committedness to adhd features successful the future.

Note that you surely don't request to usage ail-cli to usage AppImage Launcher. The graphical instrumentality provides each disposable features; ail-cli is utile lone if you privation to constitute scripts.

How to Install AppImage Launcher

There are 2 approaches to installing AppImage Launcher. One is installing the Regular mentation of the instrumentality utilizing your Linux distribution's bundle manager. The different is moving it arsenic an AppImage.

Let's locomotion done each process.

Standard AppImage Launcher installation connected Ubuntu Linux

To instal AppImage Launcher utilizing a bundle manager, archetypal configure your strategy to link to a repository that hosts packages for AppImage launcher. Then, instal the package.

The circumstantial steps present volition alteration depending connected which Linux organisation you usage due to the fact that antithetic distributions usage antithetic bundle managers. But to usage Ubuntu arsenic an example, present are the steps for installing AppImage Launcher.

First, adhd the AppImage Launcher repository to your system's bundle sources list:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:appimagelauncher-team/stable

Then, instal the package:

sudo apt instal appimagelauncher

Lite installation

You tin tally AppImage Launcher Lite utilizing an AppImage, without installing it to your strategy arsenic a package.

To bash so, archetypal navigate to the database of AppImage releases connected GitHub. You'll find connected that leafage a bid of releases, each of which corresponds to a antithetic mentation of the tool.

Decide which merchandise you privation to tally (the astir caller mentation is typically best), past click the Assets button, which volition uncover a database of idiosyncratic files:

AppImage Release Build

The files whose names extremity successful .AppImage are AppImage files. The i386.AppImage record is for systems moving a 32-bit kernel, portion x86_64.AppImage is for those with a 64-bit kernel, truthful beryllium definite to prime whichever bundle is close for your system. Most modern Linux systems tally 64-bit kernels, but if you're unsure of yours, tally the bid "uname -m" successful a terminal; the output volition beryllium your kernel version.

After deciding which bundle you want, click connected the record to download it. Then, marque definite it is executable by moving a bid similar the following:

chmod +x appimagelauncher-lite-2.1.4-travis987-7cb4d70-x86_64.AppImage

Now, you tin tally the record with:


Or motorboat it graphically by double-clicking connected the record successful your record browser.

How to Use AppImage Launcher

AppImage Launcher is designed to "intercept" actions involving AppImages. This means you don't person to tally the programme explicitly and archer it wherever your AppImages live. Instead, it runs successful the inheritance arsenic a strategy process and automatically detects whenever you unfastened up an AppImage file.

You'll cognize it's moving due to the fact that you'll spot a punctual similar this the archetypal clip you tally an AppImage record with AppImage Launcher installed:

AppImage Launcher

This surface asks you to corroborate configuration details. You tin customize if you want. Otherwise, click the OK button, and you'll determination onto the main AppImage Launcher screen:

AppImage desktop installation

Here, you tin archer AppImage Launcher whether oregon not to integrate the AppImage you've selected into your desktop. If you conscionable privation to tally the app erstwhile without integrating (which you whitethorn if you're conscionable investigating it), take the "Run once" option. If you program to usage the app much than once, it's a astute thought to integrate it.

So, arsenic agelong arsenic you installed AppImage Launcher utilizing a bundle oregon by moving the Lite merchandise arsenic an AppImage, the instrumentality should automatically tally whenever you motorboat different AppImage file.

Updating and removing apps

Once you integrate an application, you tin cheque for updates oregon take to region it utilizing the discourse paper of the application. To entree that, commencement typing the application's sanction successful your system's exertion launcher, and you'll spot a enactment of options related to AppImage Launcher.

Note that this means you don't person to tally immoderate exertion to update oregon region applications utilizing AppLauncher. You grip these tasks done the discourse menu.

What if AppImage Launcher Isn't Working?

If you find that AppImage Launcher doesn't commencement erstwhile you motorboat an AppImage, the astir apt crushed is that the AppImage Launcher process is not running. To cheque whether this is the case, benignant this bid successful a terminal:

ps -e | grep appimagelaunch

If that bid generates nary output, the process is not running. In that case, you tin effort to commencement it manually by typing:


If that works, you whitethorn privation to acceptable up a startup programme to motorboat appimagelauncherd automatically whenever your strategy starts.

Note arsenic good that if you tally AppImage Launcher Lite arsenic an AppImage and past reboot, the AppImage Launcher process won't commencement again until you tally its AppImage (although your configuration information should persist betwixt reboots). You'll request to tally the AppImage Launcher AppImage manually again aft each reboot.

If you tally into different unexpected issues with AppImage Launcher, see downloading a antithetic mentation of the instrumentality (in lawsuit the 1 you're utilizing is buggy) oregon submit an contented to the developers connected GitHub.


On its own, AppImage makes it casual to tally applications connected immoderate Linux distribution. But AppImage Launcher makes AppImages adjacent simpler to enactment with, acknowledgment to features that automate exertion integration into your desktop situation and that streamline exertion updates and removal.

About the author

Christopher Tozzi headshotChristopher Tozzi is simply a exertion expert with taxable substance expertise successful unreality computing, exertion development, unfastened root software, virtualization, containers and more. He besides lectures astatine a large assemblage successful the Albany, New York, area. His book, “For Fun and Profit: A History of the Free and Open Source Software Revolution,” was published by MIT Press.
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