Avant Window Navigator hits version 0.3.2 today, the first major release for the Linux Dock since this time last year.
I’m a self confessed Dock-a-holic. I, obviously, have a dock in OS X, i use AWN in Ubuntu and when i had Vista i used the rather awesome RocketDock. Since Windows 7 i find my need for a dock somewhat reduced thanks to the new taskbar.
What’s Go-AWN on?
The new iteration of AWN brings along welcome stability, performance and compositing fixes as well as some nifty new improvements and features.
The most visible of which are: -
- An “Automatically start Awn on login” option in the ‘dock preferences’ pane. If you start Awn without a compositing manager present, a pop-up dialog will appear informing you that compositing is not currently enabled.
Most applet icons can now be customized by dragging and dropping an icon onto the applet in question. Note that this does not apply to tasks.
Better compatibility with Metacity.
What The Dock Still Can’t Do
AWN still lacks the ability to rearrange your launchers via the dock itself; you can’t just drag your icons into the order you want on the actual dock, you need to still arrange them via the preference pane.
You cannot have the dock positioned anywhere but the bottom of your screen.
It still doesn’t come with any extra themes. A default “flat bar” and a default “3d” would be a nice inclusion.
Applets Updated Too!
The new version also sees some AWN Applets (AKA AWN-EXTRAS) updated, some removed and some entirely new ones! Add a clock, recycle bin, the weather or even the Gnome Main Menu to your dock! To use these, make sure you have awn-extras installed, too.
In my opinion AWN is still the most capable and best performing dock for Linux. It’s not overly complex or resource hungry and does it’s job without getting in your way (like a few other docks i won’t mention!).
If you already have AWN installed, upgrading is easy. Either wait until your distro add’s the updated packages to your repos – in which case you’ll get an update notification in a few days/weeks. Or, if you’re realllly impatient, you can upgrade manually.
add the following two lines to your software sources or equivalent. : -
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/awn-core/ppa/ubuntu intrepid main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/awn-core/ppa/ubuntu intrepid main
Next add the key: -
In Ubuntu, open a Terminal and paste (CTRL + SHIFT + V)
sudo apt-key adv –recv-keys –keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com 5FC1113B3009C37828E7EF1709266047CE9FDCA9
For other distro’s you can find the key and installation instructions here.
Now, just either sudo apt-get update or hit “Update Manager” in your System > Administration menu and enjoy!