Skip to content


instantMENU is a general purpose menu that is used for most GUIs in instantOS. It is a superset of dmenu and can be used as a drop-in replacement.


The appearance of entries can be changed by prefixing them with a special markup syntax. This syntax will not be rendered (apart from the changes in appearance) but will still be present in stdout when selecting an entry

Comment syntax

Comments are entries that cannot be selected as output of instantmenu. They will still render as text and can also be searched and scrolled through. Their primary purpose is to display more information about the entries that are selectable.

    echo 'this entry will be selectable
> this entry will not be selectable but will still display' | instantmenu

Entries can also be styled with the default color pallete

    echo 'this entry will be selectable
>>b this entry will not be selectable and will display as blue' | instantmenu



Colored entries render with the specified color on hover over. Apart from that they display and behave just like normal entries. You are not allowed to put a space after the color specifier.

echo ':bHello world' | instantmenu

Color specifiers

Color Code
green g
red r
highlight h
yellow y
blue b


echo ':bThis is blue
:yThis is yellow
:rThis is red
:gThis is green
This is normal' | instantmenu -l

yellow blue green normal red

Icon syntax

Icon entries are regular selectable entries that are prefixed with an icon and a color. The icon also has a color that shows on hover over. They require the argument -h 1 to be present in order to render properly.

echo ':b Icon' | instantmenu -h -1
      ↑↑ ↑↑
      || ||
      || ||
      || ||
      || |Entry text
      || Nerd fonts icon displayed in front of the entry text
      |The icon color will be green
      Colons indicate that an entry will have styling

The iconset in use is Nerd Fonts, a collection of icons that includes the Font Awesome icon set and can be searched through


Imenu is a wrapper around instantmenu that allows fast creation of common types of user interfaces using instantMENU.


-c <title> [-i]
   confirmation prompt, pass -i to invert the result
-C <title>
   multi line confirmation prompt with message from stdin
-P <prompt name>
   password prompt
-w <message>
   display loading message
-e <message>
   display error message
-i <title>
   ask user for a single line of input
-m <message>
   display message
   display multi line message from stdin
   display toast message
   choose item from stdin
   checkbox list to choose multiple items from stdin
-E <addcommand>
   edit list from stdin, adding an item executes <addcommand>


imenu -m 'this is a test message'
example message