Skip to content

May 5, 2012


Installing awn in Xubuntu 12.04 LTS

As indicated in the recent Xubuntu 12.04 LTS review, the dock as mentioned seemed to have been missing a little something. Granted that we’re trying to keep a lightweight environment here and adding a bit of pizazz might take up a bit more resources but I feel this might be worthwhile.

awn which stands for Avant Window Navigator gives you the option of adding a Mac OS X like dock to the bottom of your screen where you can launch programs from without always going to the menu. Awn shows an open app by having a black triangle under it and gives the ability to easily add, remove and move the icons in awn.

Installation of awn was quite simple and it is available to you by using the Ubuntu Software Centre or Synaptic package manager and select awn and also awn settings in order to be able to configure the application. With Xubuntu having it’s own panel (panel 2) we had to remove it or else we would get overlap with awn.

To remove the panel right click on the panel itself or go to the menu on the top left go to Settings > Panel and select panel 2 and you can press the delete button or for the time being to test make it vertical and delete afterwards.

Setting up awn is not that difficult in the XFCE menu on the top left under settings you have Awn Settings over here is where you customize the look and actions of your dock. Make sure you check Start Awn automatically in Preferences to make sure it always starts up.

In Task Manager here you can choose the quality of the icons and also you have other options as well as group common windows, drag and drop reordering and can add launchers to applications there or the easier way I prefer, dragging it from the kicker menu to the dock itself.

The Applets section allows you to add applets that come as part of awn to the dock, you can also download and install applets you find on the web.

Themes section allows you to use some of the default themes that come with awn or you can customize your own themes to use on your desktop.

The images below show awn (top) installed on Xubuntu 12.04 LTS and the second image is that of the default dock.


Awn is a nice program if you want to add a launcher or change the one that comes as default as part of your Linux distribution. Awn allows you to easily drag an application to the dock and be added instantly without any fuss. For those who do uses OS X, you cannot remove a launcher by dragging it off the dock onto the desktop or into the trash can and must right click on it and choose remove.

  1. May 6 2012

    I’ve been having using Docky with Xubuntu 12.04. Do you feel there might be advantages to awn over Docky? Thanks!

  2. Mike L
    May 26 2012

    I tried docky but it seems that awn, which doesn’t seem to be in development anymore, works better and has more functionality than Docky.

Comments are closed.