Those that know me, know that I am, well, a Linux junky. So be forewarned that from time to time there will be a random Linux post up here at veniatregnum.

I like my desktop neat, organized, and tailored fit to my random compulsions. There really is not a lot of rhyme or reason to why things need to be just so, but they do nonetheless. I really like launcher docks, just one of those obsessions. Maybe it was that the first linux distro I sampled, Dreamlinux came packaged with the Engage dock. It was a nice and simple launcher, not much flair, pure and simple application launcher with some animation and appealing aesthetics. I’ve since made the transition to XUbuntu, and have loved just about every minute of this distro – it has seriously breathed new life into my ancient machine (but that’ll be a different post). However, I lost the ability to use Engage. There were a few other docks in the ubuntu repositories and available to compile (there’s issue with engage on ubuntu – too long to detail here), but I was never very impressed with any of them. Avant Window Navigator is supposedly “the dock” but I’ve never found it very appealing – I really disliked the inability to turn off the system tray (obsessions again but I prefer my sys tray in the panel).

After AWN and other disappointments, I gave up for quite a while. Today I (re)discovered Cairo-dock, and have been so far very very impressed. It’s massively configurable, you can have a sys tray if you want, but its easy to turn off, there are tons of applets to add, you can create subdocks and incorporate them into certain launcher icons to create a knock off “stacks”, there are a couple of various themes preset to get you going, and you can create and save your own. One of the simple pleasures I’ve found (I think you can do it with AWN as well though) is that you can drag and drop your existing .desktop launchers into the dock and you can drag in folders to instantly create a stack.

Here\'s my cairo-dock, click to enlarge

Here’s the link from the ubuntu documentation for cairo, and heres a link to the .deb and source files.

And stay tuned for a full fledged linux promotion sometime in the future…

~ by veniatregnum on May 5, 2008.

3 Responses to “Cairo-Dock”

  1. Hi,

    I’m an Awn/Awn Extras developer. I’m sorry that you’ve had a bad experience with our dock. You can remove the system tray (AKA the notification area applet) from the Awn dock through the preferences dialog, Awn Manager.

    We’re also aware of the (many) problems with our notification area applet. Our lead developer has stated that he is going to rewrite it so that it visually integrates better with the dock, but due to his new job, it is uncertain as to when he’ll have time to work on it. In the meantime, we’re recommending that users use stalonetray, a standalone system tray that integrates visually (not “physically”) with Awn. One of the Awn developers even created a package for Ubuntu (which contains a patch that lets it play nice with docks):

    Again, thanks for the feedback. I wish you well on your Linux explorations 🙂


  2. Wow, thanks Mark

    Just because I’m using cairo at the moment does not mean in the least I’ll stop fiddling around (my wife actually gets quite annoyed with my consistent tinkering). I’ll most definitely be keeping an eye on AWN and giving it another try again in the future. Just for the time being cairo’s a better fit. I love open source and the community it entails, and the fact that developers like you have a passion for what you’re creating. I didn’t mean to put down AWN in any way, I know a great deal of people that love it and use it religiously, maybe someday I’ll join the ranks.


  3. Dang yur blog iz blak.

    Thanks for this post. I run fluxbox and will definitely check cairo out.

    Funny, my wife gets annoyed with my constant desktop tinkering too…

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