16. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

16.1. What is Keypirinha

Keypirinha is a fast launcher for keyboard ninjas on Windows.

Features:

  • Quickly find and launch plethora of items like applications, files, bookmarks, URLs, sessions (PuTTY, WinSCP, FileZilla), registry keys, …
  • Launch a search on any configured website or online dictionary
  • Language translations on-the-fly
  • Evaluate mathematical expressions
  • Base conversion of numbers
  • Search your environment variables
  • Launch a copied URL directly (http, mailto, skype, …)
  • Split a URL and convert its arguments to JSON
  • Switch to a running application by name
  • Hash a string (CRC32, MD5, SHA, …)
  • Generate random UUIDs, passwords, bytes sequences
  • Naturally associate a keyword to a specific item
  • Machine-specific and/or user-specific configuration in separate config files
  • … and more, see Shipped Packages and Third-Party Packages

Properties:

  • Plugin-oriented architecture (C++ at its core, Python3 for its plugins)
  • File-driven configuration
  • Lightning fast
  • Fairly small memory footprint
  • Battery friendly
  • Customizable GUI (colors, fonts, toggling and positioning of elements)
  • Steep but rewarding learning curve
  • Freeware, no nag screen, no time limit, no ads

You can think of Keypirinha as an alternative to Launchy and a cousin of Alfred.

See the First steps chapter for more information.

16.2. Why a new Launcher?

There are already existing launchers for Windows out there and we have tried a lot of them before deciding to develop Keypirinha. Including the inspiring Synapse, which unfortunately supports Linux only.

They are either not keyboard-only oriented, not flexible enough, not always extensible, too bloated, too slow, unstable, or just outdated (implying a broken support for recent platforms).

Keypirinha has been started as a personal project and is not meant to be better than all of them. It offers a recent alternative that is blazing fast, flexible, memory efficient, battery friendly and smart about the search results it provides.

By battery friendly, we mean that with the default configuration, Keypirinha consumes zero CPU cycle once it has been initialized and when not used (i.e. most of its lifetime).

However, by design, its graphical user interface (GUI) is minimalistic and its learning curve may feel steep to some, depending on how you want to use it and extend it. That makes of Keypirinha quite a niche project, mostly addressed to advanced users.

16.3. So… A replacement to the Start Menu?

Many people who have not tried Keypirinha or any other keystroke launcher are tempted to think it is just about being a replacement to the Start Menu, or the Win+S feature, or even just some organized shortcuts and scripts.

It would be a mistake to think of Keypirinha as an application launcher only. Keypirinha itself is very generic. It is just a database of items sweetened with a small search engine. In other words, it can launch any kind of task provided by its plugins. May it be a document, a URL, creating an alarm at a given time, launching a web search, directly launching a PuTTY or a FileZilla session, switching to a running application using its name, evaluate a mathematical expression inline, …

Its whole architecture is about being generic, configurable and scriptable (Python3). Its search algorithm tries to be smarter by giving a better score to tasks that you most likely want to launch given the current search terms and context.

A launcher like Keypirinha may deeply impact your everyday work-flow. You may even find yourself missing it!

16.4. Is it open source?

In short, the application itself is not, its official plugins are.

The application itself is distributed as a freeware (see the License). In other words, Keypirinha is distributed for free and there is no time limit, no nag screen, no ad.

Its official plugins that are shipped with it are open source and published under the terms of the zLib license, a permissive license.

16.5. Is it Beta software?

No, Keypirinha can be considered stable.

Keypirinha is used by a small but involved community that has shown itself reactive in reporting issues and interacting with the developer. As a result, maintenance releases are usually pushed pretty fast if a severe issue is reported.

16.6. How to support the project?

Keypirinha is distributed for free and you are absolutely not required to participate in any way, so please do not feel that you have to.

However, the application itself and the official packages are the result of several hundreds of hours of development spent by a single person so if you do wish to show your support, please know that it is greatly appreciated and taken as an encouragement for future developments.

There are several ways to support Keypirinha:

16.7. Where does this weird name come from?!

Keypirinha is a combination from the terms Keyboard and Caipirinha, the brazilian cocktail, which the author really encourages you to try if you haven’t yet!

16.8. Any translation?

Sorry, there is no plan to support additional language in a near future.