How to install cairo-dock in Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic)

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A light and eye-candy dock to launch your programs .It uses Cairo / OpenGL to render graphics (many in correlation with Compiz) with full hardware acceleration. It's fully configurable and fully customisable and can be used as a taskbar too. You can easily add applets in the dock or as a desklet. It is recommended to install the PLUG-INS package (cairo-dock-plug-ins) to have acces to more views, dialogs and many plug-ins and applets.

This metapackage provides the components necessary for running Cairo-Dock. It provides the Cairo-Dock core, a set of standard plugins and the files necessary to integrate Cairo-Dock with your desktop environment.

Install Cairo-dock in ubuntu karmic

Use the following comamnd to install cairo-dock in ubuntu 9.10

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

This will install all the required packages.

Using Cairo-dock

You can open cairo-dock from Applications--->Accessories--->Cairo-dock

Once it opens you should see similar to the following screen with welcome message

One more cairo-dock view

Cairo-dock shortcuts screen

If you want to Configure cario-dock right click on dock select configure--->Cairo-dock

Once it opens you should see similar to the following screen

Manage cairo-dock themes from manage themes--->Cairo-dock

Once it opens you should see similar to the following screen here you can select your theme click on apply

After selecting New theme in the above screen

One more screenshot

If you want to add a sub-dock right click on the dock select Add a sub-dock

Once it opens you should see similar to the following screen

You need to select Name of the view used for the sub-dock option click ok

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22 Responses

  1. celldweller says:

    would you like to explain this a bit for jaunty also. i run jaunty as my karmic instalation freezes. :/ sadness. Karmic is quite unstable. :/
    i cant find above packages in jaunty. Help !

  2. glowndark says:

    @ celldweller: Pls try to be more specific about your karmic freezes, so ppl can help you. Some intel graphic card will freeze in karmic, so try to run your compiz in indirec-rendering mode. sudo compiz –replace –indirect-rendering

  3. MrD says:

    Just installed on Linux Mint 8 32bit following your unstructions and I have only one theme to choose from, default. Says version 2.0.9karmic1 installed.

  4. software-hippe says:

    speaking of carmic, i can’t get my carmic to work. just moving a window is laggy and there is nothing worng with the computer :/

  5. Patrick says:

    I have installed the complete cairo-dock package via synaptics (plugins etc) but I have the same issue as MrD. Only the main theme is available.

  6. Rich_Roast says:, which cairo dock relies on to download themes and clock faces and whathaveyou, is currently down. This is why only the main theme is available. Bit of bad timing, that.

  7. Danielle says: is not accessible at the moment. This affects the forum, the wiki, the repository, and the themes. For more information, go to

  8. Rich_Roast says:

    From whence one can obtain themes and such, apparently, using the -S option:

    cairo-dock -S

  9. MrD says:

    I have unfortunately now uninstalled Cairo-Dock. There was some overall desktop slowdown that started to get annoying (only a very basic celeron 1.86ghz, 1gig ram, onboard graphics laptop here, therefore I leave effects off in Compiz) and a more major issue, Videolan would not work once Cairo-Dock had run during a new session.

  10. Kevin says:

    I messed with this for hours, got Cairo-dock running and ran into issues with themes because their domain was (maybe still is) down. I found a mirror site to add themes and ran into lots of issues connecting icon paths and virtualbox not seeing the guest OS even when I inserted the path. I think this program looks great, but I have had much better luck in Karmic 64X running Openbox. I had Openbox running and customized to my liking in less than 15 minutes.

  11. Patrick says:

    Thanks Rich_Roast
    It works .-)

  12. fab says:

    export XLIB_SKIP_ARGB_VISUALS=1 && vlc

    to get VLC running correctly.
    This is a bug in Qt (VLC uses a Qt widget)

    Same for Skype, Smplayer, etc

  13. Bernard Victor says:

    I installed Cairo Dock but wondered why I had so few themes. Found I needed an update, so loaded update, Lots more themes but loads of problems, such as covering a quarter of my screen. So it has to go. Docky is simpler but leaves little room for customisation, so I guess it is back to AWM.

  14. Kevin says:

    Ooops, I put openbox in my previous post for some reason. I meant to put Avant/Awn. Awn #1 in my book until Cairo works out their domain/dock issues.

  15. Does Cairo Dock work in UNR (Ubuntu Netbook Remix)?

  16. fab says:

    “covering a quarter of my screen”
    did you know you can configure it ?
    moreover quite simply, in the visibility module choose “stay below windows” or “auto-hide”

    yes it works on any netbook, and with the OpenGL ! (and of course any distribution)

  17. anonamous says:

    Does it work on Linux mint?

  18. Rich_Roast says:

    Yes, it works on Linux Mint. Using it now, myself. It’s quite nice.

    It will help if you already have compositing (compiz) enabled.

  19. Praj says:

    I have installed it on my ubuntu 9.10, but it is not opening what I should do?

    –Thank You

  20. glowindrak says:

    @Praj -install awn or compiz

  21. Andy b says:

    its ok its very easy to use thanks guys

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