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Cairo-Dockon

F.A.Q

  1. Miscellanious
    1. Good to know
    2. I just installed Cairo-Dock, How do I launch it?
    3. I just selected a theme and now I can't find the dock !
    4. Sometime sub-docks are hidden by other windows
    5. Even when I position the dock to the edge of the screen there is always 1 pixel left
    6. I can't find an option
    7. How to get that wonderful 3D view I saw on the web?
    8. When I watch a video in full screen the dock stays in front
    9. My dock always disappears when I activate "auto-hide" !
  2. Icons
    1. How do I re-order my icons?
    2. How do I position applets and taskbar icons at the beginning of the dock?
    3. How do I change an icon image?
    4. How do I remove many icons quickly?
    5. How can I resize my icons?
  3. Dock
    1. How do I position my dock on the screen?
    2. How do I adjust the position of the dock above the Gnome-panel?
    3. The dock is hidden by the Gnome-panel
    4. I don’t want other windows covering the dock
    5. I don’t want that the dock covers windows
    6. How can I add a separator?
    7. I don't want to have a separator between launchers , applications and applets.
    8. How do I add a sub-dock?
    9. How can I have many main docks?
    10. How can I have a 3D dock?
    11. How can I change the background of my docks?
    12. I find the dock too flashy, can it be more sober?
  4. Desklet
    1. What are «desklets»?
    2. How do I configure their position?
    3. How do I configure their behaviour?
    4. How do I change their decorations?
    5. How do I insert a desklet into the dock?
    6. How do I place a desklet on the Compiz Widget Layer?
  5. Taskbar
    1. How do I enable the Taskbar?
    2. I don't want to have lots of icons in the dock when I use Gimp/Pidgin/etc
    3. I have ugly icons for some applications.
    4. When I launch a program with its launcher, I don't want an additional icon in the taskbar
    5. I'm using Pidgin, and I want to see my friends' avatars.
    6. How can I quickly navigate between many windows of the same application quickly?
  6. Replacing the Gnome-panel
    1. How can I add the main menu?
    2. How can I add a simple «quick launch» panel?
    3. How can I add a logout icon?
    4. How can I access the dustbin?
    5. How can I access my mount points?
    6. How can I access my Nautilus bookmarks?ip: you can add a bookmark by dragging
    7. How can I add an easy-to-acces calendar?
    8. How can I add the notification area (systray)?
    9. How can I add an easy-to-access terminal with real transparency, like Tilda?
    10. So then, how can I remove completely the gnome-panel?
  7. Other applets
    1. How do I run the same applet multiple times?
    2. I have a personal gauge that I want to use in the dock (for System-Monitor or others).
    3. I have a personal Cairo-Clock theme that I want to use in the «clock» applet.
    4. How do I change the brightness of my screen quickly?
    5. How can I change the speaker volume quickly?
    6. How can I quickly switch to another desktop?
    7. How can I control my dock from the keyboard?
  8. Troubleshooting
    1. I have a black background around my dock.
    2. My machine is too old to run a composite manager.
    3. The dock is horribly slow when I move the mouse into it.
    4. I don't have these wonderful effects like fire, cube rotating, etc.
    5. The «netspeed» applet displays 0 even when I'm downloading something
    6. The dustbin remains empty even when I delete a file.
  9. Help us!
Miscellanious
Good to know
Cairo-Dock is mainly developed on Ubuntu. So of course some wiki pages are slanted toward Ubuntu, and may be updates arrive faster.
But fear not! Cairo-Dock is being adopted by people who use other distros such as OpenSUSE, Arch Linux, Toutou/Puppy Linux, etc each with its own way of pushing the dock to you.
If your distro has some repository, please be patient as the maintainer needs some time to update them so delays are to be expected.

I just installed Cairo-Dock, How do I launch it?
Click here

I just selected a theme and now I can't find the dock !
Most likely this theme is using the auto-hide function. Move your mouse to one of the edge of your desktop and it should appear.

It can also be that the dock is hidden by the application of your Window Manager. Try to move it somewhere and you should see the dock again .

Sometime sub-docks are hidden by other windows
This is most probably a bug in the Window Manager.
With Compiz, try deactivating the option to prevent focus stealing in General options.

Even when I position the dock to the edge of the screen there is always 1 pixel left
Compiz reserves 1 pixel on the edge of the screen (this is to move windows between desktops, and can be disabled through ccsm).
So even when you have a value of 0 or negative in the edge distance option of the dock, this 1 pixel line may be unsensitive for the dock.

I can't find an option
By default, the configuration is in simple mode. At the bottom of the configuration window, there is a button Advanced mode ...click it and ...have fun!

How to get that wonderful 3D view I saw on the web?
Cairo-Dock engine has a view system which allow you to modify the appearance of the dock.
You can specify the view you want for the main dock and the sub-docks, in the main configuration window
For sub-docks, you can overwrite the main setting in the configuration of the applet that holds the sub-dock.
For the other main docks, you can overwrite the main setting in the configuration of the given dock.

When I watch a video in full screen the dock stays in front
Once again this depends on the Window Manager. To fix it (if you don't have auto-hide already active), right click on the dock and select "quick-hide". This will activate auto-hide until you recall the dock (by touching the screen's edge).

My dock always disappears when I activate "auto-hide" !
When auto-hide is activated, the dock can appear to have disappeared. Actually it is most likely hidden behind the dashboard for your WM. To fix it just use that command to launch the dock:
cairo-dock --keep-above


The next part of this page can also be read in the Help module of the configuration panel


Icons
How do I re-order my icons?
Tip: you can even re-order icons of active applications.
Simply drag with the mouse, and drop wherever you wish.

How do I position applets and taskbar icons at the beginning of the dock?
Tip: you can also position applets amongst launchers, by ticking the box below.
In the «icons» module, at the bottom, you can select icon order according to type (launcher/appli/applet).

How do I change an icon image?
Tip: you can also edit a launcher's configuration directly and set a path for an image. If you do not enter a path, but simply the name of an image, do not give the extension (.svg, .png, etc.), so as to let the dock choose the best.
In the «Icons» module, you can choose an icon theme. Enter the name of a theme, e.g. Human or Gartoon.
You can even enter the path of a folder containing personal icons.
By default, all Cairo-Dock themes have the local icon folder selected«_LocalIcons_», i.e. ~/.config/cairo-dock/current_theme/icons.
You can enter many themes or folders, the dock will search for images in them in the same order as you entered them.
If you leave this empty, the default icon theme of your system wil be used.

How do I remove many icons quickly?
Tip: if you delete an icon pointing to a sub-dock, you will be offered to either delete the sub-dock’s icons or to move them in the main dock.
Just drag and drop them out of the dock, they will disappear in an explosion !

How can I resize my icons?
Tip: You can define the size of each applet independently, to any size smaller or equal to the default size. Set it to 0x0 to use the default size.
In the 'Icons' modules, you can setup the default size of your icons by type : launchers, apps, applets and separators.
You can also setup the zoom factor.

Dock
How do I position my dock on the screen?
Tip: If you have multiple screens managed by Xinerama, you can tick the option «Use Xinerama», and choose the screen where you wish your dock to be positioned.
Everything is in the «Position» module. You can choose to position it on the bottom, top, left or right side of your screen.
Moreover, you can also position it at the beginning, centre or end of the screen border.

How do I adjust the position of the dock above the Gnome-panel?
Tip: you can also simply drag your dock with the mouse by pressing the ALT key at the same time.
In the «Position» module, you can add an offset to the screen border.

The dock is hidden by the Gnome-panel
This is normal, because they are both «docks». You can either move the dock out of the panel, or launch it wih the command «cairo-dock --keep-above».

I don’t want other windows covering the dock
Tip: if you use it, you don’t need to use the “keep the dock below “option.
Just use the option “reserve space for dock” in the “Accessibility” module.

I don’t want that the dock covers windows
Tip: you can choose to pop-up the dock only when the mouse hits the screen corner instead of the whole screen border.
You can also setup the size of the trigger zone in the “Hidden dock” module, and even assign an image to it.
Two choices are available, in the “Accessibility” module :
  • either choose to “keep the dock below other windows”. The dock will then pop-up when you place the mouse on its screen border.
  • or activate the auto-hide. The dock will then appear when you enter the trigger zone.

How can I add a separator?
Simply right-click on the dock where you wish to add a separator and select «add a separator».
You can position it wherever you wish (except in amongst taskbar icons) by dragging it with the mouse.

I don't want to have a separator between launchers , applications and applets.
In the «Icons» module, in the «separator» section, untick the box that says «add automatic separators».

How do I add a sub-dock?
Tip: to move an icon into a sub-dock, edit its configuration and in the list of docks, choose the one you wish. You can do the same with applets as well, allowing you to group many applets in a sub-dock!
Just right-click on the dock, then select «add a sub-dock». Fill the config panel with a name and image, then confirm.

How can I have many main docks?
Tip: you can then move icons inside this new dock by following the previous method.
To position this new dock, right click on it and choose «configure this dock»from the Cairo-dock sub-menu.
Edit a launcher or an applet and a name that doesn't exist yetin the list of the available docks. A new dock will be created with this icon inside.

How can I have a 3D dock?
Tip: you can set up the view for each sub-dock. Simply edit the icon pointing to the sub-dock and choose the view you wish to use for it.
Any dock can be displayed with one view, and many views are available (3D, Curve, etc).
Then, go to the «Views» module, and choose the view you wish to use for main dock, and for sub-dock.

How can I change the background of my docks?
Tip: the Parabolic view doe not have a background, but the Slide and Rainbow views have their own background parameters.
In the 'Background' module, you can either choose an image, or a color gradation.
If you set an image, it will be used as the background, if you don't, the gradatoin will be used.

I find the dock too flashy, can it be more sober?
Tip: try different themes, some are already very sober, like Dust-Sand or Elementary.
When you can do more you can do less ! You can for instance deactivate the "Icon effects" plug-in,
or deactivate the effect on mouse hovering in "Animated Icon" plug-in.
You can also decrease the zoom effect or lower the icons' reflect in the "Icon" module,
change the background colors in the "Background" module, or change the view to the "default" view in the "Views" module.
In brief, you can easily have something as sober as a gnome-panel, but this would be a shame ! ^_^

Desklet
What are «desklets»?
Tip: to detach an applet, you can drag and drop its icon from the dock to the desktop
Desklets are widgets which are displayed on your desktop. Each applet can be detached from the dock to act as a desklet.

How do I configure their position?
Tip: If you don't want to move it any more, you can lock its position. Simply right click on the desklet, and select «lock position». To unlock it, de-select this option.
Simply drag them with the mouse.

How do I configure their behaviour?
Tip: if you lock the desklet, the buttons will not appear. You can reset a rotation by middle-clicking on the appropriate button.
There are small buttons on the top and left side of the desklet. They allow you to rotate the desklet in 3D!

How do I change their decorations?
Tip: you can add new decorations by choosing «Personalised» decoration, and providing a background and/or foreground image. You can configure the offsets of these images to adjust the position of the drawings inside the decorations.
The default decoration is defined in the «Desklets» module.
Moreover, each desklet can have its own decoration. To change a desklet's decoration,
go to the applet's configuration, click on the «desklet» tab, and then choose the decoration you wish to use.

How do I insert a desklet into the dock?
Tip: if the desklet is locked, the button won't appear.
Simply click on the top right button.

How do I place a desklet on the Compiz Widget Layer?
Tip: you may have to switch to the Widget Layer once so that Compiz takes the change into account.
In the Compiz-Fusion config, enable the 'Widget Layer' plugin, and set the rule (name=cairo-dock & type=utility).
You can then switch an applet to the Widget Layer by left-clicking on its desklet and selecting 'Compiz-Fusion Widget'.

Taskbar
How do I enable the Taskbar?
Tip: All the Taskbar options are grouped together in this module.
Go to the «Taskbar» module, then tick the first box, and apply.

I don't want to have lots of icons in the dock when I use Gimp/Pidgin/etc
Tip: You can then scroll on this icon to switch from a window to another, in an ALT+TAB style.
Use the «Group applications by class» option. Only a single icon will appear in the dock. If there are several windows, they will be grouped together in a sub-dock above this icon.

I have ugly icons for some applications.
Tip: This way, you can configure your personal icon for any application. Just place an icon with the same name as the class of the application in a folder used by the dock (by default, ~/.config/cairo-dock/current_theme/icons)
The class of an application can be found by typing «xprop |grep CLASS» in a terminal, then clicking on the window of the application.
This is because X provides small icons for applications which look ugly when zoomed. Use the «overwrite X icons» option to tell the dock not to use them.

When I launch a program with its launcher, I don't want an additional icon in the taskbar
Tip: to launch another instance of the program, shift+click on the launcher.
Use the «Mix applis and launchers» option.
When a program is launched, if it has a launcher in the dock, the launcher icon will be marked with an icon to indicate that the corresponding application is running.
You can then act on the window as if it were a taskbar icon.

I'm using Pidgin, and I want to see my friends' avatars.
If you chose to overwrite X icons, you can add an exception for Pidgin just before this option.
If you chose to mix applications and launchers, you can edit the Pidgin launcher,
and in the «Extra parameters», tick the option to not steal the icon for this application.

How can I quickly navigate between many windows of the same application quickly?
Tip: you can also close all the windows of this application by middle-clicking on the icon pointing to the sub-dock.
Scroll on the icon of one of the windows of this application, or even on the icon pointing to the sub-dock if you group windows in a sub-dock.

Replacing the Gnome-panel
How can I add the main menu?
Tip: if you have removed your Gnome-panel, then the "<Alt>F1" shortkey will no longer work. This applet (Gmenu) lets you configure a shortcut to pop up the menu at the mouse's location.
Enable the Gmenu applet.
Rem : you should maybe disable the old shortkey "<Alt>F1" from this application: 'gnome-keybinding-properties'

How can I add a simple «quick launch» panel?
Tip: if you removed your Gnome-panel, then the «alt+F2» shortkey will no longer work. This applet lets you configure a shortcut to pop up the quick-launch dialog.
Enable the Gmenu applet, then use it by middle-clicking on its icon.

How can I add a logout icon?
Tip: In the latest version of GNOME, there are 2 panels: one to log out, and one to turn off the computer. The first one is raised by a click on the icon, the second by a middle-click, but the applet lets you reverse this order, and even lets you enter your own commands.
Simply enable the «logout» applet.

How can I access the dustbin?
Tip: you can delete a file by dragging it into the dustbin. You can even unmount a mount-point this way!
Simply enable the «dustbin» applet.

How can I access my mount points?
Tip: you can mount a volume by clicking on its icon. To unmount it, middle-click on its icon, or right-click and select «unmount».
Simply enable the «shortcuts» applet.

How can I access my Nautilus bookmarks?ip: you can add a bookmark by dragging
Tip: you can add a bookmark by dragging the folder onto the applet or into its sub-dock. You can also rename and remove bookmarks. This will also take effect in Nautilus immediately, and vice versa.How can I access my desktop?===
Tip: middle-clicking on the icon will hide all windows, but not desklets.
Simply enable the «show desktop» applet.

How can I add an easy-to-acces calendar?
Enable the «Clock» applet. Clicking on it will display a calendar, clicking again will hide it.

How can I add the notification area (systray)?
Enable the «Systray» applet. For the moment it cannot be displayed directly in the dock,
so clicking on the icon will pop-up a dialog containing the systray, middle-click will hide it.
We recommend detaching this applet to make it a desklet. Place it in a corner of your screen and keep it above other windows.

How can I add an easy-to-access terminal with real transparency, like Tilda?
Tip: clicking next to the last tab will create a new tab. Double-clicking on a tab allows you to rename it. You can even change the colour of a tab!
Enable the «Terminal» applet. You can detach it and place it on the Widget Layer for instance, or configure a shortkey to make it pop up instantly.

So then, how can I remove completely the gnome-panel?
Open gconf-editor, edit the key /desktop/gnome/session/required_components_list, and erase its content (\\"panel\\").
Restart your session : the GNOME-panel will not be started.

Other applets
How do I run the same applet multiple times?
Tip: This allows you, for example, to have the current time for different countries in your dock or to have several animated characters in your dock or the weather in different cities.
Some applets can have several instances running at the same time: Clock, Cairo-Penguin, Weather, Netspeed, ...
Right click on the applet's icon, and select «launch another instance». A new instance of this applet appears in the main dock.
You can configure this new applet just like any other.

I have a personal gauge that I want to use in the dock (for System-Monitor or others).
Move the folder containing your gauge to ~/.config/cairo-dock/extras/gauges

I have a personal Cairo-Clock theme that I want to use in the «clock» applet.
Tip: the same goes on for all applets that propose a theme: dustbin, Cairo-Penguin, weather, etc.
Move the folder containing your theme to ~/.config/cairo-dock/extras/clock

How do I change the brightness of my screen quickly?
Enable the Xgamma applet, then you can scroll up/down on the icon with the mouse.

How can I change the speaker volume quickly?
Enable the AlsaMixer applet, then you can scroll up/down on the icon with the mouse.

How can I quickly switch to another desktop?
Tip: this applet even lets you add/remove quickly a desktop !
Activate the Switcher applet, then you can scroll up/down on the icon with the mouse to go to the previous/next desktop,
or click on the icon to select a desktop.

How can I control my dock from the keyboard?
Tip: when you define a shortkey, try it before to be sure that it is not already used by another application.
Many applets have events that can be triggered by a keyboard shortcut :
  • the AlsaMixer applet allows you to pop-up a volume button that can be controlled with the left/right arrows.
  • the Terminal applet allows you to pop-up the terminal window</b> and directly write inside it.
  • the Systray applet allows you to pop-up the notification area</b>.
  • the Quick Browser applet allows you to pop-up the menu browser</b>, you can then navigate inside it with the arrows.
  • the GMenu applet allows you to pop-up the Applications menu, and also a quick-launcher dialog box.
  • the Clipper applet allows you to pop-up the clipboard history</b> menu.
  • and of course, the Remote-Control plug-in let you navigate inside your docks and quickly find and launch applications and files !


Troubleshooting
I have a black background around my dock.
Tip: If you have an ATI or an Intel card, you should try without OpenGL first, because their drivers are not yet perfect.
You need to turn on compositing. For instance, you can run Compiz or xcompmgr.
If you're using XFCE or KDE, you can just enable compositing in the window manager options.
If you're using Gnome, you can enable it in Metacity in this way :
Open gconf-editor, edit the key '/apps/metacity/general/compositing_manager' and set it to 'true'.

My machine is too old to run a composite manager.
Don't panic, Cairo-Dock can emulate the transparency.
To get rid of the black background, simply enable the corresponding option in the end of the «System» module

The dock is horribly slow when I move the mouse into it.
If you have an Nvidia GeForce8 graphics card, please install the latest drivers, as the first ones were really buggy.
If the dock is running without OpenGL, try to reduce the number of icons in the main dock, or try to reduce its size.
If the dock is running with OpenGL, try to disable it by launching the dock with «cairo-dock -c».

I don't have these wonderful effects like fire, cube rotating, etc.
Tip: You can force OpenGL by launching the dock with «cairo-dock -o».but you might get a lot of visual artifacts.
You need a graphics card with drivers that support OpenGL2.0. Most Nvidia cards can do this, as can more and more Intel cards. Most ATI cards do not support OpenGL2.0.

The «netspeed» applet displays 0 even when I'm downloading something
Tip: you can run several instances of this applet if you wish to monitor several interfaces.
You must tell the applet which interface you're using to connect to the Net (by default, this is «eth0»).
Just edit its configuration, and enter the interface name. To find it, type «ifconfig» in a terminal, and ignore the «loop» interface. It's probably something like «eth1», «ath0», or «wifi0»..

The dustbin remains empty even when I delete a file.
Be sure that gvfs is running.
if you're using KDE, you may have to install it.

Help us!
We value your help! If you see a bug or if you think something could be improved,
or if you just had a dream about the dock, pay us a visit on glx-dock.org.
English speakers are welcome, so don't be shy !
If you have created a theme for the dock or one of the applets and want to share it, we'll be happy to integrate it with the other themes!
If you wish to develop an applet, a complete documentation is available at http://doc.glx-dock.org.
Fabounet


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