Sex up Ubuntu 9.10 desktop with Cairo-Dock

UbuntuI’m not a fan of Ubuntu. Never liked it, though I must admit that it is very popular, and has some nice features. I personally don’t like distros that use sudo especially now that Microsoft has been granted a patent for it. But not liking a distro will not stop me from helping others customize their desktop especially if that desktop is as bland as the default Ubuntu 9.10 desktop.

It is not going to be possible to make the Ubuntu desktop as visually appealing as the default Hymera Open desktop, but we can try. And the tool we are going to use is called Cairo-Dock.

But before we install Cairo-Dock, let’s perform some surgery on the default desktop. First, take a look at the default desktop on Ubuntu 9.10 (aka Karmic Koala). You gotta agree that that’s as plain-vanilla as you can get on a desktop.

Ubuntu 9.10 default desktop
Default Ubuntu 9.10 desktop

What we need to do is remove the lower panel. Right-click anywhere on the lower panel and select ‘Delete This Panel.’ The modified desktop should look just like the one in the screenshot below.

Modified Ubuntu 9.10 desktop
Modified Ubuntu desktop

Ok, time to install Cairo-Dock. To do that, you’ll have to use Synaptic or the command line (Cairo-Dock is not available from the Ubuntu Software Center). For this article, I’m going to use the command line. Launch a shell terminal (Applications > Accessories > Terminal), and type in this command: sudo apt-get install cairo-dock. If you are using Synaptic (System > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager), type ‘cairo-dock’ in the search box.

Installing Cairo-Dock from the Linux cli
Installing Cairo-Dock from the cli

After installation, two entries for Cairo-Dock will be placed in the menu – Applications > Accessories > Cairo-Dock (no OpenGL), and Applications > Accessories > GLX-Dock (Cairo-Dock with OpenGL). The latter is better. So launch GLX-Dock from the menu. The default theme does not really appeal to me, so I changed it to the Diamond theme by Coz. My new desktop is shown below.

Ubuntu desktop with Cairo-Dock
Ubuntu desktop with Cairo-Dock

Not bad, eh? Certainly better than the default panel that we deleted. Cairo-Dock is highly customizable. You can move launchers around, create sub-docks, change the position of the dock itself, add and remove launchers, and manage themes. And there are lots of themes to choose from. Click on the screenshot below to access Screenshot Central and view more images from the Cairo-Dock-beautified desktop.

Rainbow view

Related Posts

Ubuntu on tablets: Who’s on board? Ubuntu on tablets is the latest Ubuntu platform from Canonical, the company behind the popular Linux distribution. Barely two months ago, the company ...
The best Markdown editors for Linux During my search for a good Markdown editor for Linux, I came across a few that are good and a few that are not that good. See The search for a usable...
Guide to writing NGINX rewrite rules Looking for a definitive guide to crafting Nginx rewrite rules? Today is your lucky day! The folks at Nginx have published just what you're loo...
10 tips for a 10x performance boost for your website or Web app How fast does a website need to be? For each second a page takes to load, about 4% of users abandon it. Top e-commerce sites offer a time to first int...
Why did this server run out of disk space? Less than two hours after I logged into the admin end of this website, which is powered by WordPress, the site went offline, with a 502 Bad Gateway er...
How to import a virtual machine image into VirtualBox This post shows how to import a virtual machine image into VirtualBox. Or more correctly, how to create a VirtualBox guest operating system from an ex...

We Recommend These Vendors

Launch an SSD VPS in Europe, USA, Asia & Australia on Vultr's KVM-based Cloud platform starting at $5:00/month (15 GB SSD, 768 MB of RAM).

Deploy an SSD Cloud server in 55 seconds on DigitalOcean. Built for developers and starting at $5:00/month (20 GB SSD, 512 MB of RAM).

One Comment

  1. First decent proposal on the subject. Thanks.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *