Spice up Ubuntu 10.10 desktop with Cairo-Dock

UbuntuUbuntu 10.10, the latest edition of the popular Linux distribution, which was just reviewed here, ships with the same blank desktop that has come to identify the Ubuntu desktop. But you do not have to live with it. You can spice it up with a very simple and elegant application. You can go from the default desktop shown below, to a more sexy desktop.

This article will show you how to go from this:

Default Ubuntu 10.10 desktop

To this:
Ubuntu desktop with Cairo Dock

To get there, we will have to install just one application, just one, with some dependencies. So launch a shell terminal and type the following command: sudo apt-get install cairo-dock. If you do not like working from the Linux command line, call the Software Center (Applications > Ubuntu Software Center), and search for cairo-dock. Your search results should match the ones shown in the image below. Click on the Install button and sit back and watch the installation begin. It should not take more than a few minutes.

Installing Cairo-Dock from the Software Center

After the installation, whether from a shell terminal or the Software Center, you will find two entries for Cairo-Dock in the menu. The first is accessible from Applications > Accessories > Cairo-Dock (no OpenGL), and the second from Applications > Accessories > GLX-Dock (Cairo-Dock with OpenGL). The GLX-Dock entry comes with more effects. Before launching Cairo-Dock, it is first necessary to remove the lower panel. That, in my opinion, is the best location to put it, or the best location to place the main one. So right-click on the lower panel and select Delete This Panel. Now you can start Cairo-Dock.

This is the default theme. If the default theme is not to your liking, there are more than a dozen themes you can choose from. To sample other themes, right-click on the dock and select Cairo-Dock > Manage themes.

Cairo Dock on Ubuntu desktop

Cairo-Dock’s theme manager allows you to sample all available themes without activating them.

Theme manager

Related Posts

How to Install Ubuntu 13.10 on an external hard drive Installing Ubuntu 13.10 on an external hard disk drive (HDD) connected to a computer that's already running another operating system like Windows 7/8 ...
BackTrack 5 or Kali Linux 1.0 I get many searches related to BackTrack 5 that makes me wonder if netizens responsible for those searches are aware that the distribution known as Ba...
PC-BSD’s graphical firewall manager PC-BSD is a desktop-oriented, FreeBSD-based distribution with KDE as the default desktop environment. The version due to be released shortly is PC-BSD...
ProtonMail and Subrosa: Encrypted communication for the privacy-conscious ProtonMail and Subrosa are two separate communications services that's attempting to offer users a platform for secure, encrypted communication. They ...
Linpus Linux 9.6 Installation Guide Linpus is a Linux distribution developed and supported by Linpus Technologies, Inc., a company based in Taipei, Taiwan. The latest stable version, Li...
Tips for dual-booting Windows and Linux Multi-booting, installing more than one operating system on a computer's hard drive(s), has become very popular over the years, fueled, of course, by ...

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).


  1. jonny rocket

    i use cairo. better than awn and docky. just works better.

  2. Oops. I meant to comment on Ubuntu 10.10 story below this one. Sorry about that.

  3. The second item on the checklist may not be useless if the user is installing on a notebook/laptop computer.

  4. Pingback: Links 15/10/2010: Fusion Fedora 14, MeeGo 1.1 for ARM | Techrights

Leave a Comment

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