Gnome-Do Docky: A New Dock On The Block

For those long time fans/users of Gnome-Do, you are now in for a good treat. The latest release of Gnome-Do now includes an interactive dock that you can place on your desktop and access the frequently used applications quickly and easily like any other docks.

One thing is different though, Gnome-Do Docky is intuitive and can automatically add items to your dock based on your search pattern.

To install (or upgrade to) the latest version of Gnome-Do, you need to add the repository to your sources.list.

gksu gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

Add the following lines to the end of the file. Save and close the file.

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/do-core/ppa/ubuntu intrepid main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/do-core/ppa/ubuntu intrepid main

Update the repository

sudo apt-get update

If you have already installed Gnome-Do, type

sudo apt-get upgrade

to upgrade to the latest version.

For a new install, type

sudo apt-get install gnome-do

To make sure that the Docky works properly, you will need to have a compositing manager in your Desktop. If your computer supports Compiz, you can proceed on to launch Gnome-Do. If not, you will have to turn on the metacity compositing manager.

Turn on metacity compositing manager (only if Compiz does not work in your computer)

In the terminal, type

gconf-editor

Navigate to Apps->Metacity->General. On the right, scroll down till you see the compositing manager option. Put a check in the box beside it.

enable metacity compositing manager

Close the window.

Activate Gnome Do (Applications->Accessories->Gnome Do)

On the window that shows up on the centre of the screen, click on the arrow button on the top right corner and select Preferences. Click on the Appearance tab. Under the theme dropdown bar, select Docky.

Gnome Do Preference

You should now see the dock appear at the bottom of your desktop.

docky on screen

There are several features found in the Docky that are worthy mentioning:

  • Drag and Drop items onto or remove from the Dock (files, folders, and applications from the menu)
  • Drag and Drop items into folders on the dock, as well as the trash can.
  • Image previews of items which support it
  • True parabolic zoom (can be disabled)
  • Click animations
  • Intuitive resizing by dragging on the dock separator
  • Adding and removing “Statistical Items” (items which Do considers relevant to you) from the dock by dragging the left and right edges
  • Window indicators (supports advanced window indicators)
  • Advanced window management features via the Window Manager plugin for GNOME Do
  • The ability to make Docky Automatically Hide when not being hovered.
  • A full frontend to GNOME Do
  • Add items to docky from GNOME Do searches

Using Gnome-Do within the Docky is no different from its past version. You just need to press Win + Space (some call it Super + Space) button to activate the Gnome-Do, follow by typing your command/search phrase. However, instead of Gnome-Do appearing at the centre of screen, the search bar now appears at the bottom of the screen, where the Docky is situated.

docky-search

Adding/removing items to the docky is as simple as dragging and dropping your application to the dock. There is another way though. When you perform a search on Gnome-Do, you can add the search result to the dock by clicking on the + button at the left corner.

docky-search-add

If you have activated the Window manager plugin within the Plugins section, you will be able to perform actions on your Docky via the context menu (mouse right-click).  The context menu interaction with the application is intuitive and changes according to the app. This is somewhat similar to the AeroPeek feature in Windows 7, but in a different form.

docky-action

Other changes to Gnome-Do

Other than the dock, this latest version of Gnome-Do also comes with more plugins and fixed a large number of bugs. New plugins include create tinyurl from Gnome-Do, accessing various Google services, such as Docs, Gmail contact, Calendar, search, Gcalculate etc, and many more.

All in all, there is a great improvement over the previous version. If you have not download/install/use it, then you better grab it now.

You can read more about the Docky at its wiki page. What is the best features that you like about the latest version of Gnome-Do? Will the Docky replace your default dock?

Image credit: Docky wiki

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