[Launcher] New enhanced GameShell (and DevTerm?) launcher in Development - Devlog & Feedbacks

HI again!
Hope you guys are excited, we’ll get our hands on the DevTerm in a few months!

Nonetheless, I decided to give the GameShell a little more love!

In my spare time I began working on a new launcher based on what I’d like to have on a device like the GameShell, adding several features missing from the stock launcher and aiming to get as much customizability and extendibility as possible to encourage community work.

The main goals are:

  1. Better control of running apps: always possible to close a program.
  2. Always-on access to volume and brightness controls, time, battery status and Wi-Fi status.
  3. Modularity: add your own modules, widgets, apps, etc, and swap or edit them easily.
  4. Good-looking stock UI, completely customizable.

The launcher will run on the GameShell but compatibility with other single-board computers and the DevTerm is possible and probably easy to achieve. May be a next step after the first release!

Here’s the link to the project repository (may change in the future):

Here’s a few sneak peeks of the features this new launcher will offer:

Open the widget bar at any time to see your widgets and close the running program:

Adjust brightness and audio volume without exiting the running app:

New keyboard with slightly better UX:

The default Settings app lets you swap modules and parts of the launcher:

You can easily edit or create your own keyboard, your own widgets, your own theme and share them with the community!

This launcher is based on my previous work making the Godot Engine work on the GameShell.
It’s a Godot application running using native code to act as a window manager!

This means that if you know how to use Godot, customizing and extending the launcher will be a breeze!

I will update this topic as I develop the launcher, posting new screenshots and giving more details.
This project will be 100% open source!

The topic is also open to feedbacks and proposals!
Feel free to discuss and share your ideas!


wow , great job!!

I saw that on Twitter before, so nice,much better than the stock launcher


best way to test this on a raspberry pi?

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Thanks! I hope to come out with a piece of software that can easily be adapted to anyone needs, thanks for the support!


Other sbcs are not initially fully supported, but you’ll have to start a X session with the launcher and the compositor running in parallel.
Instructions will be in the GitHub repository.
The default theme/skin is also optimized for the GameShell screen, so a new one would probably have to be created.


Which of these two styles do you prefer for the top and bottom bars (default light theme)?

New style Old style

Does light one have a blue border by default?


I prefer the light one on the left. Have you considered a “dark” theme? Even just doing a negative image on the current theme looks pretty good.



Amazing, that looks very promising :smiley: Can’t wait to be able to try it out.
Gameshell is still my favourite device of all time, and I’m very happy to see any updates on it.
Thank you!!


Yes, and you can see several items have a blue highlight or outline in previous screenshots and gifs.

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Yes I’m planning to provide a default dark theme!
Will be easy to create custom ones however, when I’m finished with a first usable version of the launcher I’ll focus a bit on documentation.


Thanks! I hope you’ll enjoy the launcher once it’s usable and testable!


Working on system notifications!
Any launcher app, widget, etc. will be able to easily create notifications. More power in your hands to do custom stuff!


I am extremely excited about this! It’s built from the ground up I’m guessing. Out of interest, was it based on something similar to @Joao_Manoel ’s minimal clean image, or from something completely different.

On another note, could this also be something that anyone can just run from their existing gameshell installation, acting as a launcher replacement?

Can’t wait to see how this runs on a larger resolution/desktop mode.


I’m glad there’s excitement!
Yes! It’s a new launcher that just takes a few graphics elements from the stock launcher, the rest is built from scratch, and as already said, I’m focusing on making it as modular and flexible as possible.

The launcher works out of the box as a replacement for the old one on clockworkpi 3.1 boards, no need to change the OS installation. The previous version of the board has issues with the lima driver, but disabling it should work, and it may be possible to fix them updating the system and mesa.

The launcher will be initially intended for handheld use, but support for other types of input is definitely possible. Also, the default theme(s) will be GameShell-sized, but they will be easily replaceable too!


I’ve actually got a Kickstarter first Gen board for testing. The one without HDMI, and less Ram; and Lima seems to run okay on it! So there could be hope for the Godot launcher working on earlier cpi boards.

That would be useful to be able to have the launcher appear as a full screen interface for HDMI users. As it stands, we’re playing in a gameshell sized window, with three scrolling icons. Expanding the interface would make it feel like an actual OS! But yes! Just thought right now.

As a side note, I was half contemplating making a “nier automata” style UI. With the release of replicant yesterday, my interest has piqued again. Something like this would be fancy! I have no idea how to use Godot, but will certainly give it a good shot!

Something like this on the gameshell/devterm would be to die for!


Should be possible, I tested Godot on other very similar sbcs with the same gpu and it worked, but I used recent kernels and updated Mesa. The driver included in the GameShell OS is and old version, it may have some hidden bug that shows only in certain circumstances, and Godot with 512 MB or ram seems to trigger them.

Using the launcher fullscreen in hdmi mode will be possible too, but I doubt it will have very good performances, the mali 400 struggles to output natively at high resolutions (tested on a Orange Pi Zero Plus2).


whoa… having an expanding interface? this is starting to sound like DEX mode on those fancy samsungs.

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Added support for different ways of viewing the contents of a folder. Here’s an example:

Other ways of displaying the contents (grid, vertical icons, etc.) can be easily added!
Also now retro games can be launched directly through Retroarch!

oh wow this is super cool! I wonder how long it’s gonna take for someone to make a DEOT theme…