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Manual Reference Pages  -  RATMENU (1)


ratmenu - create a menu to run commands


See Also


ratmenu [ -display displayname ] [ -font fname ] [ -fg foreground-color ] [ -bg background-color ] [ -label name ] [ -shell prog ] [ -align {left|center|right} ] [ -style {snazzy|dreary} ] [ -version ] menuitem[:command] ...


ratmenu is a simple program that accepts a list of menu item and command pairs on the command line. It creates a window that consists of nothing but a menu. When a particular item is selected, the corresponding command is executed.

ratmenu does not recognize any usage of the rodent. You use the keys "j" and "k" to scroll up and down the menu, just as in vi. You can get out of the menu by pressing the Escape key, and select the currently highlighted item by pressing Return [also know as the Enter key].

Menu items and commands are separated by a colon. The colon and command are optional. If they are missing, then the menu item is assumed to be a command that can be executed directly.

ratmenu accepts the following command line options.

-display displayname
  Use the X display displayname, instead of the default display.
-font fname
  Use the font fname, instead of the default font.
-label name
  Change both the window and icon labels of the window to name. The default label is the last component of the path used to run ratmenu, typically, ratmenu.
-fg foreground-color
  Set the foreground color to foreground-color. By default, the foreground color is black.
-bg background-color
  Set the background color to background-color. By default, the background color is white.
-style {snazzy|dreary}
  The default style is snazzy, where the highlight bar, which shows the currently selected item, remains stationary while all the menu items are rotated up or down when the cursor keys are moved. In dreary mode, the highlight bar moves up and down the menu as it does on all conventional keyboard controlled menus.
-align {left|center|right}
  Align the text of the menu entries to the left, right, or center. Defaults to left. This is different from 9menu, which defaults to center.
-shell prog
  Use prog as the shell to run commands, instead of /bin/sh. A popular alternative shell is rc(1). If the shell cannot be executed, ratmenu will silently fall back to using /bin/sh.
-version This option prints the version of ratmenu on the standard output, and then exits with an exit value of zero.


ratmenu -label Remotes xterm ’acme:rsh acme xterm’ ’herman:rsh herman 9term’ &

ratmenu -label ’X progs’ ghostview xdvi xeyes xneko exit &


ratpoison(1), xvt(1), vim(1), ratpoisonrc(5),

Ratpoison Desktop Users Manual.


The initial idea for this program was by Arnold Robbins, after having worked with John Mackin’s GWM Blit emulation. Matty Farrow wrote a version using libXg, from which some ideas were borrowed. This code was written by David Hogan and Arnold Robbins. Rich Salz motivated the -shell option. Jonathan Walther modified this code to play nicely with the ratpoison window manager by removing handling of mouse events and iconification.
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Ratpoison Desktop For X RATMENU (1) Sep 15 2001

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