Thursday, March 12, 2009

Eye Candy - running Avant Window Navigator 0.3.2

I know, I know, it's considered eye candy but I must say that in this case it is practical eye candy. Not for not Apple chose a window navigator to which AWN is akin like a twin, so it must be good in the literal and aesthetical sense of the word. I especially like the numerous applets and plugins available, so I can choose whatever I like.

Intrepid Ibex is equiped with the 0.2.6 version of AWN, but like always: I thought the latest version had way more functionality and extras, so I wanted that. The upgrade process is manual and quite easy if you take note of the following:

If you have AWN 0.2.6 installed, you should remove that completely (using synaptic and search for packages called 'AWN' and 'Avant'). Check these packages for complete removal (so including configuration!) and apply it your system. Now the old AWN manager is gone from the system.

Then add these lines to a new file/etc/apt/sources.list.d/reacocard-awn.list:

deb intrepid main
deb-src intrepid main

Using Synaptic you can now check the files in the source and select all the Avant Window Manager files you think you might need (here's where you decide which applet packs are installed as well).

Then apply this to your system and voilĂ , you're good to go! If some odd behaviour shows: just restart X (CTRL-ALT-Backspace); if AWN doesn't show up at all, you probably don't have Desktop Effects enabled (which is a prereq.)

I'm using the 'Black Gloss' theme from as it has that nice Apple look. Got to hand it to Steve Job's guys: they do know what looks good... And I fiddled a bit with the settings to make it a bit smaller than default.

One more thing on AWN which wasn't too clear to me at first:
If you want to add starters by dragging them from the Cairo Menu or any of the panels: drag them directly on top of the AWN bar itself! You can rearrange them later using the AWN Manager (System -> Preferences). I found myself dragging the starters into the manager window, which just doesn't work...

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