Site Map - skip to main content

Hacker Public Radio

Your ideas, projects, opinions - podcasted.

New episodes every weekday Monday through Friday.
This page was generated by The HPR Robot at

hpr2443 :: pdmenu

I have been using this menu tool over the past year, and I really like it

<< First, < Previous, , Latest >>

Thumbnail of Dave Morriss
Hosted by Dave Morriss on 2017-12-13 is flagged as Explicit and is released under a CC-BY-SA license.
command line, menu, pdmenu, .pdmenurc. 1.
The show is available on the Internet Archive at:

Listen in ogg, spx, or mp3 format. Play now:

Duration: 00:15:27




Pdmenu is a tool written by Joey Hess which allows the creation of a simple menu in a terminal (console) window. It is in his list of less active projects, and the latest version is dated 2014, but it seems to be quite complete and useful as it is.

I like simple menus. As a Sysadmin in my last job I used one on OpenVMS which helped me run the various periodic tasks I needed to run - especially the less frequent ones - without having to remember all of the details.

I do the same on my various Linux systems, and find that pdmenu is ideal for the task.


I found pdmenu in the Debian repositories (I run Debian Testing), and it was very easily installed. The C source is available as a tarfile, though I haven't tried building it myself.

Running pdmenu

Simply typing pdmenu at a command prompt will invoke the utility. It uses the file /etc/pdmenurc as its default configuration file, and this generates a menu with a demonstration of some of its features.

This is not particularly useful but it can be overridden by creating your own configuration, which by default is in ~/.pdmenurc. The pdmenu command itself takes a configuration file as an argument, so there is plenty of flexibility.

Full notes and examples

The full notes which describe the use of pdmenu with examples can be found here.


Subscribe to the comments RSS feed.

Comment #1 posted on 2017-12-13 16:09:29 by b-yeezi

Need to give this a try

Great show, as always. I have a few command line access and programs I've written using yad that would be great to group together in a menu. I'll check out pdmenu for this. Thanks.

Leave Comment

Note to Verbose Commenters
If you can't fit everything you want to say in the comment below then you really should record a response show instead.

Note to Spammers
All comments are moderated. All links are checked by humans. We strip out all html. Feel free to record a show about yourself, or your industry, or any other topic we may find interesting. We also check shows for spam :).

Provide feedback
Your Name/Handle:
Anti Spam Question: What does the letter P in HPR stand for?
Are you a spammer?
What is the HOST_ID for the host of this show?
What does HPR mean to you?