Hain: fast launcher for Windows

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Written By Larious

Larious is the Executive Editor of LowkeyTech. He is a tech enthusiast and a content writer. 





Last Updated on February 27, 2017 by Larious

Hain is a portable open source launcher program for Microsoft Windows devices that is fast and extensible through plugins.

The Windows start menu is probably the central location that Windows users use when it comes to launching programs not pinned to the taskbar.

It features a search, and the listing of installed programs that added a shortcut to the start menu.

While it is doing an okay job usually, it is not spectacularly fast nor is there a guarantee that the right results will be provided.

Program launchers are the way to go in this case. They are usually a lot faster, and may provide extra features that Start does not offer.

We have reviewed our fair share of programs in the past; here is a short selection: Keypirinha, Wox. Launchy, and other program launchers.

Hain: fast program launcher

Hain is based on Electron which explains the large size of the program download and size on disk. It is portable, and you may run it from any location without installation.

You bring the launcher to the front with the keyboard shortcut Alt-Space to launch programs or use other features that Hain supports.

The program search and execution works as expected. Once you start to type results are displayed in the program interface. You can launch any result with the mouse or keyboard, and the process itself is fast and comfortable.

Hain supports fuzzy search, so that it may find results that are mistyped.

First thing you may want to do is load /preferences to add or remove folders from the program’s file search database.

Hain searches several folders by default, for instance the desktop and start menu, and also system32. You can add folders, for instance a folder full of portable programs to the “search recursively”, or “not recursively” listing.

The application ships with a couple of extra functions that you can use right away. Type any URL to load it in the default web browser, or use the built-in calculator.

Hain plugins are pure JavaScript, and it should not come as a surprise that there are plenty of available. The program ships with an experimental package manager that you can use to list and install plugins.

Type /hpm install, and pick one of the available plugins from the listing. You find a todo list manager, dice roller, several search plugins, shutdown commands, Steam launcher and dozens of additional plugins listed there that you can install with a tap on the return key after selecting the plugins.

Hain is pretty fast, even if you install plugins. One of the main downsides of the program is that it uses a lot of memory. The program’s Electron-base is the cause for this. Hain used about 350 Megabyte on a 64-bit Windows 10 machine I tested it on.

Not really lightweight, and the main reason why it is not suitable for older devices that are low on RAM. This is not a problem if a PC has plenty of RAM. Still, if you compare it to program launchers that use a couple of Megabytes, it is a stark contrast.

Closing Words

Hain is an open source portable program launcher for Windows that uses a plugin system that is based on pure JavaScript. Dozens of plugins are provided, and the searching and execution of queries is fast.  The downside is the program’s RAM hunger.


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