How to list application launcher


I’m about to install Tumbleweed again because over the years all kinds of unnecessary things have accumulated. But of course I have also installed a lot of necessary programs.

I would like to get a list of the programs that can be found in the application launcher. Is there some file or other way to print the entire application launcher menu of all the programs that can be launched in the application launcher?

Print screen is of course one option, but very laborious to do.

Isn’t that a part of a desktop environment? You do not explain what DE this users uses. Or even if different users use different DEs and thus different application launchers. Or if users may have adapted the contents of the application launcher (by adding and/or removing applicatios).

ls /usr/share/applications should give you a list of the system wide available application launchers. However each user may have defined its own application launchers and where those are stored depends on the desktop environment used by the user (e.g. for plasma5 in ~/.local/share/applications).

And you should keep in mind that not all installed applications provide an application launcher.

I am the only user of Tumbleweed (and therefore
root user).
The problem is that if/when I install TW from scratch, I don’t remember which program I used to edit the video, for example.
So I thought it would be nice if there was a list where I could see what I’ve installed before and choose the ones I want to reinstall.

Operating System: openSUSE Tumbleweed 20230315
KDE Plasma Version: 5.27.2
KDE Frameworks Version: 5.104.0
Qt Version: 5.15.8
Kernel Version: 6.2.4-1-default (64-bit)
Graphics Platform: X11
Processors: 16 x AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX with Radeon Graphics
Memory: 30.7 GiB of RAM
Graphics Processor: AMD Radeon Graphics
Product Name: MINIPC PN52

The command

zypper se -si >list_of_all_packages.txt

(issued as user “root” in a console)

produces the text file “list_of_all_packages.txt” which contains a detailed list of all packages (name, version, repository) currently installed on your system.

If you want to safe the structure of your current application menu then have a look here.

This specification explains how the menu is build and where you can find the relevant files (which you might want to safe).

I hope that is not as I read it. You have to have a user for your normal work and use root only for system management (and never log in as root in the GUI).

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I already knew how to make this list myself, but it has all the programs. I’d just like a list of the programs I’ve installed since I’ve already installed Tumbleweed.
I guess I can’t explain this so-called problem in the right way.

Only I use this computer, so I am also the root user. Of course, I don’t use the root username other than e.g. sudo zypper dup, sudo zypper install …
I always use/log in my own username.

Depends on how you “installed” If you installed new from a DVD or USB then all system history is wiped when the installer formats root. If you did it as some upgrade method the older history may be present and older programs will have been upgraded . Of course an upgrade from Leap to TW is not really support even though you may do it. To large a jump.

You could check the zypper log files.

OK, fine then. Misunderstanding from my side.

The problem is that people often say about the system “I do …”, but in fact they should say: “user cyz does …” or “user root does …”.

Now I understand. Glad you figured it out. :+1:
It’s hard enough to think about two things: the problem itself and the translation Finnish → English.

This is what I plan to do:

  1. I make a backup copy of my home directory on an external ssd disk
  2. I install Tumbleweed from a USB stick (I’ve done this many times and also for other distros)
  3. I update the system to the latest programs, if necessary
  4. copy my home directory back to Tumbleweed
  5. I install the missing programs that I need

Point 5 is a problem because I can’t remember which program I’ve used and especially which program works properly. Recently, I installed at least 3 video camera programs before Kamoso turned out to be the right choice. For this reason, I wanted some kind of checklist, according to which I would then install the programs (like Kamoso).

The picture shows an example of the Multimedia menu.

AS you may already have understood from other answers, that is not an obvious task. First you must be aware of the fact that you do not install programs, but packages and that when you install a program, you might install more then one package. Program names (the ones you use to call the program) may differ from package name(s) that provide the program. Installation dates you might find (easy enough with e.g. rpm) will show the last date of installation because of a patch or update. Just a few of the pitfalls.

IMHO the best thing you, as system manager, can do is making notes when you install new software. But it is now of course a bit late for this advice.

Alright. So this is not easy to do. I thought Tumbleweed would have an app launcher menu, but apparently there isn’t one.

When I worked at Nokia Networks for 34 years as a systems engineer, I got used to talking about programs and the package meant the entire network element software, so sometimes these things get mixed in my mind. I guess I’ll just talk about rpm from now on.

You still have to learn much about the meaning of otherwise just plain English words here.

Package: a file of a special type that contains a complete package of files and instructions that you can use to install. The files that are installed can be e.g. a program to execute and it’s configuration files and it’s documentation (man page). All those files go to their intended directories like /bin, /etc and others.
And there are several types of these, openSUSE uses the RPM type.

RPM: Redhat Package Manager, a program that uses a specific type of packages and that can install them, remove them and list info of them. Also loosely used to denote that a package is of this type, specific for the RPM program.

Zypper: a program (you can also use YaST > Software) that works basicaly with RPM packets, but has additional features far above RPM only.

I doubt this is about Tumbleweed. This is about Unix/Linux which is a multi-user and multi session system.

The application launcher a user sees when (s)he uses a desktop environment is created by default when the user logs in for the first time in the GUI. It can be updated automagicaly with a new entry when a new GUI program is installed by the system manager. But in principle, what is there and how it is sorted is at the descretion of the user. Every user can do as (s)he likes.

What keeps you from just going through your current menu (e.g. the one you showed in your post #13) and taking notes on plain paper which applications worked for you and which you definitely want to have in your new installation?

When i do a new system installation on bare metal i follow the way susejunky outlined…and this works since years. I go through the application menu and note down which programs i installed additionally. That is easy, as after 25 years of using KDE/Plasma i know which apps come installed by default and which not. And if you use some apps without app starter (terminal only) regularly, you remember their name and note them. If you can’t remember the names of apps you installed 2 years ago, the chance is big that you don’t use them and it is no loss if you don’t reinstall them…

But i also make always custom installations and don’t use the standard pattern. That means i don’t have a helpless cluttered systems with apps i never use…

It’s easy like that…