Right of the cuff, I should note that this will work on other Linux distros too, I am just focusing on openSUSE because, that is my jam. I have been using this on openSUSE Tumbleweed as of Snapshot 20200103. It should also work on Leap as of 42 and newer (that means Leap 15.x is good to go, in case there was any question).
The reason this application excites me so is that I use several AppImages on my system. Which ones you may ask? I’ll tell you, xLights, which I use for my Christmas Light display, VirtScreen that I use when I am remote and need to turn my laptop or phone into a second display. This is super handy as it will not only create links in my menu to the AppImages, it will also copy the *.AppImage file into a designated folder, in my case ~/Applicaitons which is the default. At first, I wasn’t sure about it but after noodling it around a bit, I am totally good with it.
The RPM for this isn’t in the repository and if you are interested in the non-root user installation, there is a “Lite” version but it is still new and not a recommended solution at this time.
Navigate to the GitHub page of the project for the RPM. I am using the 64-bit version and thinking about it, I don’t actually know if there are any 32-bit AppImages, at least, I wouldn’t likely consider running an AppImage on my 32-bit machines. Regardless, there are several packages to choose from. Pick the correct one.
Downloaded appropriate RPM for your openSUSE (or other Linux if that’s what you are into), at the time of writing the version I am using is:
Installation is very straight forward, I download all my RPMs to ~/Downloads/rpms and use the
zypper command to install it.
sudo zypper install ~/Downloads/rpms/appimagelauncher-2.1.0-travis897.d1be7e7.x86_64.rpm
The installation didn’t pull in any other packages from the repository. Zypper does, however give you a little warning.
This is just telling you that it is not signed. That is a security concern, so, if you do not trust the source of the RPM do not trust this and you may as well bail here on the process because the rest of it isn’t going to work for you.
Assuming you are okay with this situation and want to proceed, type “i” and hit enter. That will complete your installation.
Side note, on most desktop environments in openSUSE, you can install the RPM graphically too, but I just happen to think the terminal is more fun.
When you first run AppImageLauncher, you are presented with some options. The important one is, where to put the AppImages you launch.
AppImageLauncher runs a service in the background and when you launch an AppImage you are given two options, to Integrate and run or just run once. If you Integrate and run, it will move the AppImage from the current directory and place it in the designated directory. Each AppImage you run will give you this option. After doing this once, the AppImage will be in your menu like any other application.
If you wish to remove an AppImage, that is easily accomplished, in the menu, right clicking on the application and you are given the option, right there, to remove it through the built in menu (I only tested this on Plasma). Note: When you remove the AppImage from your system, it is deleted, not returned to the original location or put in the Trash. So, take care in using this feature
If you are not happy about how you set up AppImageLauncher, you can make adjustments. Menu > Settings > AppImageLauncher Settings will present to you further options. I have not dug into these but here they are:
The first is a flag to to ask whether to move the AppImage to the applications directory and you can change the directory. I am interested in seeing how the AppImage updater works. I may end up trying more AppImages, just because.
The next tab, appimagelauncherd where you can select the auto integration daemon and to watch additional directories.
Once you install it, and download AppImages, you are given the option to open the AppImage with AppImageLauncher. So it is essentially not even necessary to set the AppImages as executable. Although, it does give you a few layers of warning. It does indeed work.
This article was inspired by a video on YouTube created by Eric Adams. So, if you prefer the video form, like most people, here is a great video that covers this process. This write up is basically this video but on Plasma.
Universal package formats have been a fantastic development in the Linux world. Snaps and Flatpak have felt better integrated, AppImages where a bit more tedious with having to manually create entries for some applications or relying on Plasma to remember the application for others, which only worked sometimes.
Thanks to this fantastic project, AppImages are now a first class citizen on the desktop. I hope that this AppImageLauncher becomes standard on the desktop so that AppImages are first class citizens as a universal package format in Linux. If you use AppImages this is a fantastic addition to your system.