Friday, October 28, 2011

Running Tint2 under Unity (a Lightweight Taskbar)

Tint2 is a simple and lightweight taskbar/panel for Openbox that works well with other desktop environments also. Unity lacks an important feature of minimizing the windows by clicking the respective icons in the Launcher. Running Tint2 alongside Unity will give you all the good of Unity as well as a feel of the old Gnome 2.x days, the simplicity and convenience.


Tint2 allows you different background schemes, positioning on the screen, system tray, animations when an application demands attention, a clock, a battery applet and most importantly, it can auto-hide if you want it to.

Tint2 is available in the official Ubuntu repositories. All you need to do is to get to a Terminal and run:

sudo apt-get install tint2

Once installed, press Alt + F2 and enter 'tint2' to launch it.

Tint2 is highly configurable. The configuration file named 'tint2rc' exists under the hidden '.config/tint2' directory. You may need to press Ctrl + H to see the hidden files. You might want to create a backup of the original file, just in case:

cp ~/.config/tint2/tint2rc ~/.config/tint2/tint2rc-orig

A GUI for configuring the taskbar also exists. It is a simple Python script and you can download, extract and launch it by running:

cd
wget http://tintwizard.googlecode.com/files/tintwizard-0.3.4.tar.gz
tar -zxvf tintwizard-0.3.4.tar.gz
./tintwizard.py

Following these commands, its executable would be located at the top-level of your home directory; handy to know for running it again later.

Note: Every time you launch the GUI, you would first need to open the 'tint2rc' file by going to File > Open and browsing to '.config/tint2' directory, otherwise it would create a new file with the default configuration. You can save and apply your configuration if you changed something and it would affect Tint2 immediately.


If you come to like Tint2, you would want to start it automatically when you log in. In that case, search the Dash for 'Startup Applications' and open it. Click 'Add' and add a new entry as shown in the screenshot below:

Related Posts:

Accessibility , Unity