Manage Qubes via dmenu: "qmenu"

qmenu is a collection of tools that utilize dmenu, a dynamic menu for X, to provide you with a drop down menu for Qubes specific tasks.

When configured to execute these tools via hotkeys, you are able to list, start and stop your qubes, attach and detach your connected devices, adjust your qube preferences, firewall rules, per-qube keyboard layouts, launch applications and more, very quickly with only the keyboard.

List of qmenu tools:

  • qmenu-am - Launch domU and dom0 applications.

  • qmenu-dm - List and manage your connected devices.

  • qmenu-vm - List, manage and configure your qubes.


qmenu is not included in the Qubes dom0 repositories. This page will show you how to install qmenu by cloning its repository to a disposable qube and copying its contents to dom0. However, this way of installing software in dom0 is not advised and can compromise the security of your system!

Furthermore, qmenu is unreviewed third party software and is in no way endorsed by the Qubes team. You have to trust its maintainers to not act maliciously and to protect it from malicious and unsafe contributions. Keep in mind that you are installing these tools in dom0, so judge accordingly.


  • Install dmenu:

     [user@dom0 ~]$ sudo qubes-dom0-update dmenu
  • Start a disposable qube that is able to connect to the internet. Do not use this qube for anything else! Then inside this qube; clone the qmenu repository with git:

     [user@dispXXXX ~]$ git clone
  • Import the authors public key:

     [user@dispXXXX ~]$ gpg2 --keyserver --recv-keys 0xCBE6 0BC2 811F FE14 333F EE05 3435 0BCA 3DDE 9AD9
  • Check the validity of the signed commit:

     [user@dispXXXX ~/qmenu/]$ git show --show-signature
  • Finally, decide what qmenu tools you want to use, replace ‘XX’ accordingly, then copy them to dom0, place them inside your path and change their mode bits.

     [user@dom0 ~]$ qvm-run --pass-io --filter-escape-chars --no-color-output dispXXXX 'cat /home/user/qmenu/qmenu-XX' > /tmp/qmenu-XX
     [user@dom0 ~]$ sudo cp /tmp/qmenu-XX /usr/local/bin/
     [user@dom0 ~]$ sudo chmod 755 /usr/local/bin/qmenu-XX
  • For qmenu-vm, you have to additionally follow the steps below to copy all the files in /home/user/qmenu/lib/qmenu_vm/ to dom0 and place them in /lib/qmenu_vm/.

     [user@dom0 ~]$ mkdir /tmp/qmenu_vm
     [user@dom0 ~]$ for file in fq_keyboard fq_logs fq_pm fqubes_prefs fqvm_appmenus fqvm_clone fqvm_create fqvm_device fqvm_firewall fqvm_pci fqvm_prefs fqvm_remove fqvm_run fqvm_service fqvm_tags fqvm_volume; do qvm-run --pass-io --filter-escape-chars --no-color-output dispXXXX "cat /home/user/qmenu/lib/qmenu_vm/$file" > /tmp/qmenu_vm/$file; done
     [user@dom0 ~]$ sudo cp -r /tmp/qmenu_vm/ /lib/



The colors that correspond to a qube label can be adjusted by appending --{LABEL}=#{HEX VALUE} for any qube label, when executing a qmenu tool.

Try the following example for visually appealing colors:

 --purple=#a020f0 --blue=#4363d8 --gray=#bebebe --green=#3cb44b --yellow=#ffe119 --orange=#f58231 --red=#e6194b --black=#414141


In order to customize and configure dmenu, instead of downloading it from the repositories, you have to get it from suckless, compile it yourself and copy it to dom0. However, this way of installing software in dom0 is not advised and can compromise the security of your system!

This document was migrated from the qubes-community project
  • Page archive
  • First commit: 03 Dec 2019. Last commit: 31 Mar 2020.
  • Applicable Qubes OS releases based on commit dates and supported releases: 4.0
  • Original author(s) (GitHub usernames): 3o14r473
  • Original author(s) (forum usernames): N/A
  • Document license: GPLv2