AWN vs Cairo Dock vs Docky
Mac style docks or launchers have become very popular among *nix users with the increase in popularity of Macs. And unlike Snow Leopard users there are quite a few free options for Linux users. I am going to review three such popular docks. The platform that i am using is Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx, but I would expect my conclusions to hold true for most of popular *nix systems be it Fedora 13 or OpenSUSE 11.2.
Procedure to install Docky is standard, launch synaptic or corresponding Software Installer for your *nix, and search for and install docky. The standard installation of Docky looks something like this.
It is basically showing all the currently running applications. In addition you can choose to enable various “Docklets” (small dock applications, e.g. to display weather and time, mail box status etc.) by clicking on the “Anchor” icon and selecting Docklets tab as shown below or enable Helpers which are various application specific tools for more customized experience. It comes with 6 themes by default, and an option to enable 3D view. The icon animation effect is only limited to basic zoom functionality which you can configure to change the amount of zoom.