openMSX Launcher v1.5

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" into your "Applications" directory.

Linux/BSD: unzip the Linux/BSD package anywhere on your system.

Upgrade from previous version (1.4)

Databases created in previous versions are fully compatible with the current version.

Windows: if you have Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 8 installed then you can upgrade from within the Help->Check for Updates window. After you download, you need to restart the launcher. If you don't have JRE 8 installed, download the ZIP package from and unzip it anywhere on your system. Replace the old exe, lib directory, extra-data.dat and README.html files with the new versions. Leave everything else untouched.

MacOS: Upgrade from within the Help->Check for Updates window. After you download, you need to restart the launcher.

Linux/BSD: Upgrade from within the Help->Check for Updates window. After you download, you need to restart the launcher.

How to start

Windows: double-click on the exe file.

MacOS: double-click on the application icon.

Linux/OpenBSD: type and enter 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.


Emulator: <Path>\


Emulator: /Applications

Linux (Debian, fedora, ubuntu):

Emulator: /usr/bin


Emulator: /usr/local/bin

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:

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.

Fill Database

This is a tool that scans your storage drive for MSX software supported by openMSX and adds it to the launcher databases.


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 button can be found under the game list. When pressing it, a menu pops up with a list of saved filters, small buttons to either delete or edit saved filters and options to reset current filters and add new ones.

Update All Databases

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) 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).

5) Properties: this only works on a single selection and it brings up the properties screen for the selected game.

Database Manager

This can be accessed from the Tools menu. There you can rename or delete existing databases. You can also view, restore or delete backups. Backups are identified by their timestamps.

Drag and Drop

You can drag and drop game files and directories to the main launcher window for quick adding to the current database.

Keyboard short-cuts

Windows / Linux / BSDMacAction
DelDelRemove profile button
InsertInsertAdd profile button
Ctrl+ECommand+EAdd profile button
Ctrl+DCommand+DAdd to Favorites
F1F1Info button
Ctrl+XCommand+XMove profile
Ctrl+Shift+FCommand+Shift+FLocate file

To do in future versions

1) Android version (I developed a prototype but openMSX on Android doesn't accept arguments when started from a different App therefore I stopped).

2) Catapult features.

3) Search.

4) User-defined fields.

5) Play stats.

Support/Suggestions/Questions/Translation fixes/New translations

Email Sam Elsharif at oelsha at engineer dot com.

Release history

Version 1.5 - released October 17, 2015

Enhancements: Bug fixes: Version 1.4 - released Feb 7, 2015

Enhancements: Bug fixes: Internal changes: Version 1.3 - released July 6, 2014

Enhancements: Bug fixes: Version 1.2 - released May 4, 2014

Enhancements: Bug fixes: Version 1.1 - released Sep 7, 2013

Enhancements: Bug fixes:

Version 1.0 - released Jul 8, 2013