Yesterday I installed awesome via an excellent YouTube video. Today, I'm trying to be productive; Unfortunately, I can't find the menus to my applications: thunderbird, chromium-browser, etc.

How do I get these to appear? Thanks


Try using the key combination Mod4+r it will display the word Run: on the top (besides the tags, assuming you're using a barebones configuration) then you can type the program you want to run, if it's installed you can use Tab key for auto-completion.


  1. Press Mod4+r
  2. Note the Run: dialog at the top
  3. Type thun then press Tab key if installed you will see that it completes to thunderbird and cycle with other similar commands/applications after pressing several times the Tab key
  4. Press Return/Enter key to execute the program

Another options are:

  • Install dmenu found on package suckless-tools (something similar in Ubuntu?)

  • Load a menu (if not loaded!) for instance in Debian is done like this on the rc.lua file under ~/config/awesome/:

    -- Load Debian menu entries
    -- {{{ Menu
    -- Create a laucher widget and a main menu
    myawesomemenu = {
        { "manual", terminal .. " -e man awesome" },
        { "edit config", editor_cmd .. " " .. awesome.conffile },
        { "restart", awesome.restart },
        { "quit", awesome.quit }
    mymainmenu = awful.menu({ items = { { "awesome", myawesomemenu, beautiful.awesome_icon },
                                        { "Debian", debian.menu.Debian_menu.Debian },
                                        { "open terminal", terminal }
    mylauncher = awful.widget.launcher({ image = image(beautiful.awesome_icon),
                                         menu = mymainmenu })

Of course the file /etc/xdg/awesome/debian/menu.lua must exist or something similar, you can create your own.

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