Create a select menu with smenu

Not Spoiled for Choice

© Lead Image © acik,

© Lead Image © acik,

Article from Issue 205/2017

The smenu tool reduces the effort of creating shell menus to one line, with numerous options for a wide range of design alternatives.

If you program for the shell frequently, sooner or later you will have to create a select menu, which usually requires several lines of code – unless you use smenu. Smenu reduces the menu's script to a single line. A number of parameters allow you to adapt the design and to simplify your work a little.

The source code for smenu is available on its project page [1], which contains installation instructions, as well as some useful tips. The smenu wiki [2] contains links to two YouTube videos that demonstrate the practical use of the program. The README file provides a structured overview of smenu's options [1].

Basic Function

In smenu's simplest form, a command's output is passed via pipe to the smenu command. For example, <command> | smenu displays a selection on a single line. To create a line-by-line menu, use <command> | smenu -c (Figure 1).


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