Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Install Cairo-Dock 3.0 in Ubuntu Precise and Older

Cairo Dock 3.0 was released recently, featuring numerous new features and enhancements. For those who don't know it yet, Cairo Dock is an animated application launch bar for the Linux desktop, comparable to the dock in Mac OS X.

Cairo Dock started shipping with a custom Gnome session since version 2.4.0, but I always had difficultlies configuring it as a standalone launcher/shell under Unity. But guess what, version 3.0 has sorted out everything for me at least, it seems. It is almost a fully configured launcher by default now, and you don't need to spend hours configuring it.

Cairo Dock Gnome Session with Effects, out of the box look:

As you can notice, there is a dock at the bottom of the screen holding all the application shortcuts, an old Gnome styled menu in the top-left corner with shortcuts to bookmarked folders, and a 'control station' in the top-right corner, holding the power control, sound and notification applets, as well as the clock. Another important thing to mention is that with maximized windows, Cairo Dock hides itself, but doesn't hide the digital clock, meaning that clock stays on top of everything else, handy indeed.

Another handy addition in version 3.0 is that you can now run Cairo Dock with the Unity 2D top panel. Thus, you can have all the goods of Unity's Global Menu, control applets and an old Gnome 2.x taskbar in the form of Cairo Dock at the bottom of your screen.


Here is a changelog on what has changed in version 3.0:
  • The taskbar has been greatly enhanced.
  • The Log out applet has been rewritten, now allowing you to switch users.
  • The control of the dock from the keyboard is now very powerful, many shortkeys have been added in several applets. You can activate a launcher by pressing a shortkey + its number as for Unity Launcher. And all shortkeys can now be managed in a single place in the configuration window.
  • The Sound Menu from Ubuntu has been integrated into the Sound-Control applet.
  • A new Twitter applet lets you tweet in one click.
  • A new applet to inhibit the screensaver in one click.
  • Separators are transparent to click in 'Panel' mode.
  • Cairo-Dock now uses GTK3, for a better integration in a Gnome desktop.
  • Few additions to the DBus API.
  • Text drawing (e.g. with Clock) has been improved.
  • Icons from user icons theme are now loaded with the right size.
  • The new default theme with a panel is now included in the core package. 
Ubuntu Precise Installation

Cairo Dock 3.0 is available in the official Precise repositories. So for installation, get to a Terminal and just run:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cairo-dock cairo-dock-plug-ins

Ubuntu Lucid, Natty and Oneiric Installation

Packages for older versions of Ubuntu are available via the Cairo Dock PPA. So from a Terminal, run:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:cairo-dock-team
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cairo-dock cairo-dock-plug-ins


Cairo Dock Sessions

Once Cairo Dock is installed, log out and choose any of the Cairo Dock sessions from the session options at the login screen.

Screenshots / Video

Here are a few screenshots of version 3.0 from the official Cairo Dock website:

And here is a video with annotations:


Related Posts:

Dock , Session