openMSX Launcher v1.14
openMSX Launcher is a front-end for openMSX written in Java, and runs on Windows, MacOS, Linux and BSD.
After starting the launcher for the first time, you need to set a few fields in the settings window.
First time installation
Windows: unzip the Windows package anywhere on your system.
MacOS: open the downloaded DMG and drag "openMSX Launcher.app" into your "Applications" directory.
Linux/BSD: unzip the Linux/BSD package anywhere on your system.
Upgrade from version 1.13
In all platforms (Windows, MacOS, Linux and BSD) you can upgrade from within the 'Help->Check for Updates' window. After you install, you need to restart the launcher.
Upgrade from versions earlier than 1.12
It is recommended that you upgrade to 1.13 first before upgrading to 1.14. You can find instructions on how to upgrade to 1.13 in the older 1.13 README file.
How to start
Windows: double-click on the exe file. The exe will locate the JRE on the machine automatically and start it. The exe takes in the JRE location
as an optional argument in case it cannot find it. In this case, in order to pass the JRE location as an option, create a shortcut for the executable and edit its target to pass
the JRE location. Make sure you add the location without double quotes (i.e. C:\Program Files\Java\jre1.8.0_212\bin\java.exe)
MacOS: double-click on the application icon.
Linux/OpenBSD: type and enter openmsx-launcher.run in a terminal window. In a GNOME environment you can create a
shortcut to the launcher.
1) Emulator and machines directories:
Note: the detect button will 'suggest' the path to the openMSX based on the platform. Try that first, and if that doesn't
work you can enter it manually.
Linux (Debian, fedora, ubuntu):
2) Screenshots: This is the directory where game screenshots can be found. This collection of screenshots is the one used by blueMSX Launcher,
and can be downloaded from: http://msxlaunchers.info.
3) Database: This is the database to display automatically when the launcher is started.
4) Language: openMSX Launcher supports many languages. When the launcher is started, it will try
to detect the language of the system automatically. If that fails (i.e. if it still
uses English text even if your system language is different), you can force the
language selection here.
5) MSX News: This is to enable ot disable the MSX News service.
This is a tool that scans your storage drive for MSX software supported by openMSX and adds it to the launcher databases.
Here you can change machines in your launcher profiles in the current database or in all of them.
Favorites button is located above the four main buttons. When pressing it, a menu containing the currently saved favorites appears.
You can go straight to your favorite game by selecting one from the list. You can also delete the favorite there as well.
Filters box can be found above the game list. When pressing the arrow on it, a menu pops up with a list of saved filters,
small buttons to either delete or edit saved filters, quick filters and options to reset current filters and add new ones.
When a filter is set but not saved, the filters box will be labeled (Untitled Filter). When hovering the mouse over the filters
box in this state, a tooltip of the currently applied filters will appear.
Search button is located above the four main buttons. When pressing it, a text field appears. Enter any part of the name of the game or first few
or all of SHA1 code. Search is case insensitive. SHA1 code search is useful if you want to locate a game by its SHA1 code to apply patches to it.
As you type, a list of matches appears. Select the game you're looking for by mouse click or use arrow and enter keys to select it.
Note: mouse clicks don't work on Ubuntu (the only Linux flavour that was tested) or MacOS (Sierra). This could be a bug in the implementation that hasn't been identified yet.
Use the Enter key instead.
MSX News button is located above the four main buttons. The service must be enabled in the settings to retrieve the latest MSX news. When pressing the button,
the latest news from MSX websites will be listed. The websites that are checked on a regular basis are:
MSX Resource Center
Update All Databases
Note: starting from version 1.6 this feature is hidden by default. Check appendix A for details.
This is a tool that updates extra data for games in all databases (including update display of screenshots) when there's
a new version of the extra-data.dat file and screenshots. It will also fix a bug that existed in versions
1.0 and 1.1 where some fields were not set correctly when using the 'Fill database' feature.
Right-click context menu
When right-clicking on one or more selected profiles in the games list, a context menu appears with the followig items:
1) Move: this allows you to move the selected profiles to other databases. A confirmation dialog with many options
appears in case of conflicts.
2) Locate File: this only works on a single selection and it brings up the current platform's file manager. File
Explorer on Windows and Finder on MacOS will open up with the profile's main file highlighted. On Linux running
GNOME, nautilus will open up with the directory where game's main file is.
3) Add to Favorites: add the selected game to the list of favorites. The list is accessible through the favorites button
in the main window.
4) Find Related: this finds up to 15 MSX games related to the currently selected game. The selection takes into account the game name,
company and genre and the results are displayed with a screenshot for each, a link to the corresponding Generation-MSX page, a search
link on YouTube and a link to the game in the launcher if one is found.
5) Info: this displays the user-specified info file using the system's default viewer. In the "Fill Database" feature, this
field gets set to the game's MSX Generation page, but it can be anything the user desires (text file, PDF, etc).
6) Properties: this only works on a single selection and it brings up the properties screen for the selected game.
This can be accessed from the Tools menu and there you can rename or delete existing databases. You can also view, restore or delete backups.
Backups are identified by their timestamps.
This can be accessed from the Tools menu and there you can view the game launch history as well as the most played 10 games.
IPS / UPS Patch Center
A tool to patch any files using IPS or UPS patches.
A tool to extract LHA/LZH files.
Drag and Drop
You can drag and drop game files and directories to the main launcher window for quick addition to the current database.
|Windows / Linux / BSD||Mac||Action|
|Del||Del||Remove profile button|
|Insert||Insert||Add profile button|
|Ctrl+E||Command+E||Edit profile button|
|Ctrl+F||Command+F||Show search field|
|Ctrl+D||Command+D||Add to favorites|
|Ctrl+Q||Command+Q||Show list of databases|
|Ctrl+I||Command+I||Show list of favorites|
|Ctrl+L||Command+L||Show list of filters|
|Ctrl+Shift+R||Command+Shift+R||Find related games|
Application menu on Ubuntu 15.10 and later
Starting from Ubuntu 15.10, Java Swing applications do not use Ubuntu's global menu and HUD by default even when this option is set in Ubuntu's
settings for all applications. If you prefer to have openMSX Launcher menu behave the same as other applications, you can enable JAyatana
(a project that integrates Java Swing applications with Ubuntu's global menu and HUD) globally by creating a file called "jayatana.conf" under
/usr/share/upstart/sessions/ and pasting this in the file:
description "Java Ayatana"
start on starting dbus
initctl set-env --global JAVA_TOOL_OPTIONS="-javaagent:/usr/share/java/jayatanaag.jar $JAVA_TOOL_OPTIONS"
You can also enable it for only openMSX Launcher and not globally. You can find more information about this topic on the Web.
Support/Suggestions/Questions/Translation fixes/New translations
Email Sam Elsharif at oelsha at engineer dot com.
Version 1.14 - released June 1, 2020
Version 1.13 - released Mar 22, 2020
- Improved the related games algorithm and added a link to the game if found in the launcher
- Added LHA/LZH file extractor
- Added 'tsx' extension to the list of acceptable Tape types
Version 1.12 - released Nov 3, 2019
- Added find related games
- Added sound quick filter
- Added system field (MSX or ColecoVision) to game properties
- Minor graphical changes to game properties
- Added quick filters
- Added tool tip showing current set filters when hovering over the filters box
- Added ability to filter by video source (if set manually in the profile)
- Added screenshot and sound and generation LED transition effects
Version 1.11 - released Aug 10, 2019
- Settings screen not closing when clicking OK while MSX News service was disabled
Version 1.10.6 - released Dec 16, 2018
- Added support for input devices and GFX9000 in game profiles
- Changed the look of the search and favorite lists
- Added number of disks or tapes in multi-disk/multi-tape games in the game properties window
- Added support for harddisk hdd extension
- Added JRE version to the About window
Version 1.10.5 - released Mar 31, 2018
- Disabled the delete button after deleting an entry in the list (after which no element is selected)
- Fixed JRE location via registry for version 9 and later
- Fixed the log filename to read when messages log is rotated
Version 1.10 - released November 11, 2017
- Provided an option to allow TCL scripts to override or be added to other profile fields when starting a game. The old behavior was to always override. This is useful when, for example,
running games that require GFX9000
- Allow the Windows executable to take an optional parameter that points to the location of the JRE on the machine
- Removed rarely updated MSX sites from the news service and kept only MSX Launchers, MRC and MSX Blog
- Added 'col' extension to the list of acceptable ROM types
Version 1.9 - released July 9, 2017
- Added support for disk and tape XML databases (tape XML file is the one supplied by blueMSX). These will provide more info on known disk and tape dumps
- Added service to retrieve MSX news from common MSX websites
Version 1.8 - released Septebmer 12, 2016
- Added IPS and UPS patch tools
- Added ability to change machines in launcher profiles
- Added Polish language
- Changed the order of events in the Activity Viewer to show most reccent on top
- Made graphical changes to the menus
- Added ability to disable second or both disk drives per game. This is useful for some disk and tape games that require more memory
- Added Activity Viewer tool to view game launch history as well the most played games
Version 1.7 - released July 30, 2016
- Added logging. Currently game launch events (used by the new Activity Viewer tool) and launcher command line output are logged
Version 1.6 - released May 1, 2016
- Changed main window look and added sound and generation indicators when selecting a game
- Allowed extensions to be set in addition to ROMs. In older versions, you could not set both ROMs and extensions at the same time
- Added search for games by name or SHA1 code
- Improved keyboard support and added more keyboard shortcuts
- Removed 'Update all databases' from Action menu and incorporated the functionality in the upgrade system. Instructions on how to enable it are in the help file
Version 1.5 - released October 17, 2015
- Enhanced the in-line upgrade system (accessible through 'Help->Check for Updates')
- Fixed many minor bugs
Version 1.4 - released Feb 7, 2015
- Switched to JDK 8. Now Java Runtime Environment 8 or higher is needed to run the launcher
- Added support for viewing, deleting and restoring database backups
- Drag and drop game files and directories on the main window of the launcher for quick adding to the current database
- Added favorites support
- Added ability to check for updates from within the launcher and the ability to update automatically
- Made changes to main window
- Allow only one instance of the launcher to run
- The extensions list in the Add/Edit profile was not showing the extensions for the latest versions of openMSX
after the switch from directories to XML files. This should work now for all versions of openMSX. There is similar to the machines
listing bug that was fixed in the previous version of the launcher
Version 1.3 - released July 6, 2014
- Switched to an embedded database (Apache Derby) from CSV files to store launcher data. All user's CSV files are migrated to the new embedded database automatically when new launcher is started for the first time
- Old backups are deleted. The new version allows to take backups but they still cannot be restored
- Switched to JDK 7. Now Java Runtime Environment 7 or higher is needed to run the launcher
- Added Database Manager to rename or delete databases
- Simplified the settings window by removing the machines field and adding a button to detect the openMSX path (Note: Mac users
need to set the openMSX path value to /Applications or the directory where the launcher is installed)
- The update all databases tool now returns the number of updated profiles
- Added keyboard short-cuts
- Added a tool to import blueMSX Launcher databases (only for the Windows version)
- Added total known dumps to the profile properties window
Version 1.2 - released May 4, 2014
- The machines list in the Add/Edit profile and Fill Database screens was not showing the machines for the latest versions of openMSX
after the switch from directories to XML files. This should work now for all versions of openMSX
- Added ability to filter databases by company, year, country, medium, size, MSX generation, sound chip and genre
- Added game properties in the right-click contect menu
- Added ability to update game extra data in all databases. Useful when there's a new version of the accompanying extra-data.dat file
- Added slight display improvements to the Mac version
- Added ability to select a game in the list by typing the first few letters of its name
Version 1.1 - released Sep 7, 2013
- Some fields set internally in the game profile (and only now displayable in the new properties screen) were not correct.
The new 'Update all databases' feature fixes that automatically
- Added ability to move games between databases via the right-click context menu
- Added ability to bring up the platform's file manager (File Explorer on Windows, Finder on MacOS, etc) via the
right-click context menu
- Added menu item in the Help menu to bring up the help file
- Added ability to create empty databases
- Added a bar above the game list to show company, year and size of file of the selected game
- File fields in Add/Edit screens now support drag and drop of files
- If a script is defined in the profile then it will override all other fields when openMSX is launched
- Many other minor enhancements
Version 1.0 - released Jul 8, 2013
- When adding a new game or editing a new one, the recorded size for ZIP files, which is stored in the database,
is wrong. This will be seen with this new version where the size displayed in the bar above the game list will be
that of the ZIP file rather than the original size. In order to fix it, just edit the game and save immediately
without modifying any other fields
- Create multiple databases of all MSX software supported by openMSX
- Scan the hard disk to automatically fill launcher databases with ROMs, disks, tapes, hard disks and laserdiscs,
and sync the database to your hard disk any time later.
Display two screenshots for each game
- Display the text on the launcher using a number of supported languages (English, Arabic, Catalan, Chinese
Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Portuguese,
Russian, Spanish and Swedish)
Appendix A - Update all databases
This feature is disabled by default starting from version 1.6. It was needed everytime you made changes to the extra-data.dat file
(this file contains SHA1 code mapping to MSX generation, sound chip and genre) to update internal launcher data. There are two ways
to update the file: download it through the launcher upgrade or manually if there's a new version posted on the msxlaunchers website,
or update it yourself to add your own dumps. It was deemed that the only common way to update the extra-data.dat file is through the
launcher upgrade system, and through that method the internal data are updated automatically upon a successful download and upgrade.
If you still need to update the databases manually, you can get the menu item to appear by adding the followng line to the launcher's
settings-oml.ini file (location depends on platform):
and restart the launcher.