How to Install Avant Window Navigator in Ubuntu?

I'm not entirely sure who invented the idea of an application "dock" first, whether it was Apple or the GNU/Linux geeks :). But the rest assured, that sort of application docks are very useful without a doubt. Although if you use the latest version of the Ubuntu desktop interface called the Unity, then Canonical has created an application-dock of their own which they call - application launcher and perhaps having installed another "dock" might not be a good idea (especially if you have those Atom-netbooks with already a smaller screen, etc).

But if you're like many others who use the Gnome classic desktop or want to make the Ubuntu OS look like Mac OSX, well then, having installed an excellent Apple dock "emulator" for GNU/Linux called the Avant Window Navigator is the answer.

Before you begin...

Remember to successfully run the AWM you'll have to make sure you've enabled compositing effects/feature of your current window manager. For instance, if you use the default Unity or Ubuntu 11.04, then the Compiz is enabled by default thus you have nothing to worry about.

However if you've completely disabled the Compiz and uses the Metacity window manager which is really fast since it deals with 2D GUI, etc then you'll have to manually enable few "advanced" compositing features of Metacity first.

If you have no idea of what I'm talking then fear not dudes and dudees :P... just follow the below steps and you'll be fine :). First enable the compositing ability of the Metacity WM.

1. Open your Terminal and and enter the below command.
2. This should open a new window. Now from your left, go to: "apps" -> "Metacity" -> "General". From that window, to your right-side, located the line that says "compositing_manager" and click on the "check-box" and you're done (see the below screenshot).

Now we're ready to begin.

You can install the avant window navigator in Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal by using the below command in your Terminal window.
sudo apt-get install avant-window-navigator
Main features...

*. Change the icon sizes.

*. Add themes.

*. Change the dock style (flat, 3D, etc).

*. Fully transparent.

*. Not just an application dock but also has the ability to display opened folders, etc as well.

*. Change screen position (manual X/Y settings, etc).

*. Applet support - by using this, you can control a lot of applications and their options via the dock it self (such as playing audio files and controlling Banshee, add battery status applet, Trash applet, etc).

*. Change icon effects such as zooming, etc ... are just a few to mention. You can access a lot of other options via its "dock preference" window (launched by right clicking on the app-dock).

As everyone knows Ubuntu (Gnome too actually) looks a lot alike the Mac OSX other than that unmoveable application launcher :/.

But after installing the Avant window navigator (can be used in both Unity and other desktops) since it lets you do almost all the things that the application-launcher lets you do, I hide the Unity application launcher completely and put the AWN at the bottom (the default location actually) and the desktop looks like .... well a bit like Mac OSX, I guess :). Enjoy!.

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