How to install, setup and use Avant Window Navigator (Awn) in Ubuntu Feisty

This tutorial will guide you in installing, setting up and using Avant Window Navigator (Awn) – a dock-like bar that sits at the bottom of your Linux desktop.


Awn requires a compositor like Beryl or Compiz in order to run.

  1. Update Repositories
  2. Install Awn
  3. Run Awn
  4. Adding apps to Awn
  5. Setting Awn Preferences

Update Repositories

  1. Open a Terminal by selecting Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal. Then enter the command:

    sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

    and enter your root password when prompted

  2. Add the following two lines to the bottom of your sources.list file:

    deb http://download.tuxfamily.org/syzygy42 feisty avant-window-navigator
    deb-src http://download.tuxfamily.org/syzygy42 feisty avant-window-navigator

    and then save the file and close gedit.


  3. click to enlarge

Install Awn

Back in the Terminal, enter the following five lines, one at a time:

  1. wget http://download.tuxfamily.org/syzygy42/8434D43A.gpg -O- | sudo apt-key add –
  2. rm 8434D43A.gpg
  3. sudo apt-get update
  4. sudo apt-get upgrade
  5. sudo apt-get install avant-window-navigator-svn


click to enlarge

Run Awn

  1. On your keyboard, hold down the alt key and hit F2. Enter avant-window-navigator and click Run.
  2. A small box will appear at the bottom of your screen. This is Awn, with no apps running.
  3. To have Awn start each time Ubuntu boots, select System -> Preferences -> Sessions.

  4. With the Startup Programs tab selected, click the New button.

  5. click to enlarge

  6. Enter Awn as the name and avant-window-navigator in the Command field.
  7. Make sure that the new entry has been created, then click Close. The next time you start Ubuntu, Awn will start with it.


    click to enlarge

Adding apps to Awn

  1. Select the program from the Applications menu by clicking and holding the mouse button down, then drag it to the dock and release.

Setting Awn Preferences

  1. Right-click a blank area of the Awn launcher and choose Preferences
  2. From here you can modify all of the Awn settings.

  3. click to enlarge

{ 31 comments… add one }
  • Rugge June 2, 2007, 11:40 pm

    Hello!
    May I translate this tutorial in italian? I’ll quote you as source, of course

  • Ross McKillop June 2, 2007, 11:47 pm

    Though I answered directly to Rugge by email, I figured I’d state it here as well – anyone can translate and/or re-use anything on this site – as long as they link back to the original article.

    Oh, and don’t ‘hotlink’ to the pictures, please host them yourself.

    Cheers –

    Ross

  • airtonix June 9, 2007, 4:41 am

    how to add plugins? is it as simple as moving the .so file to ~/.awn/plugins

  • uggghhh :( June 27, 2007, 10:08 pm

    Well, crap. This doesn’t work. it end’s up looking like this on my machine :(

    http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y283/mrbungle821/Whatswrong.png

    That’s the picture, it shows my predicament. Help?

  • Ross McKillop June 27, 2007, 10:34 pm

    uggghh –

    Great, great use of a screenshot to describe the problem. Kudos. To answer your question –

    Q: There’s a big ugly black bar around AWN! How do I get rid of it?
    A: You need to be running a compositor like Beryl or Compiz.

  • Scott (renamed) June 27, 2007, 10:40 pm

    See, that’s the issue. I am running it. Let me show you.

    Before-
    http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y283/mrbungle821/Before-1.png

    After-
    http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y283/mrbungle821/After.png

    See, it still mess’s up. :( what can I do?

  • Ross McKillop June 27, 2007, 11:01 pm

    Scott –

    Huh. OK well though I’m not sure it’s related, in fact I’m almost guessing it’s not – you can TRY the fixes outlined in this thread: http://www.planetblur.org/hosted/awnforum/index.php?shard=forum&action=g_reply&ID=302&page=1&isLive=true

    If that doesn’t work, I’d try asking in the Ubuntu forums @ http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=385981

    But before you do, make absolutely sure that you’re running the latest version of Beryl and AWN – that’s the first thing they’ll suggest.

    In other words, I have no idea :)

    Ross

  • sr June 28, 2007, 6:18 am

    source: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=385981

    Q: There’s a big ugly black bar around AWN! How do I get rid of it?
    A: You need to be running a compositor like Beryl or Compiz.

  • manatree August 3, 2007, 11:47 pm

    Great Tutorial! Just what I was looking for… too lazy to install from source…

  • Rohit August 4, 2007, 5:09 am

    Thanks a bunch!

  • Richard October 4, 2007, 7:48 pm

    Hey Scott, your running beryl-settings-manager, run beryl-manager, i can tell its not in the system tray, should fix the problem =)

  • Chris November 26, 2007, 2:04 pm

    When I try to run the first line of “Install AWN” i get this:

    wget http://download.tuxfamily.org/syzygy42/8434D43A.gpg -O- | sudo apt-key add –
    –16:59:22– http://download.tuxfamily.org/syzygy42/8434D43A.gpg
    => `-‘
    Resolving download.tuxfamily.org… 88.191.250.18
    Connecting to download.tuxfamily.org|88.191.250.18|:80… connected.
    HTTP request sent, awaiting response… 404 Not Found
    16:59:23 ERROR 404: Not Found.

  • XStylus December 15, 2007, 1:02 pm

    Try this instead, Chris.

    wget http://download.tuxfamily.org/syzygy42/F4ECF181.gpg -O- | sudo apt-key add –

  • Denis March 25, 2008, 9:02 am

    I’ve been looking for the past day or so on how to in stall AWN, finally I managed it, and now this extremely useful instruction to add launchers, thanks so much.

  • Q April 10, 2008, 8:32 pm

    wget http://download.tuxfamily.org/syzygy42/F4ECF181.gpg -O- | sudo apt-key add –

    It didn’t work either, I got this error.

    –23:30:03– http://download.tuxfamily.org/syzygy42/8434D43A.gpg
    => `-‘
    Resolving download.tuxfamily.org… 88.191.250.18
    Connecting to download.tuxfamily.org|88.191.250.18|:80… connected.
    HTTP request sent, awaiting response… 404 Not Found
    23:30:04 ERROR 404: Not Found.

    gpg: no valid OpenPGP data found.
    root@ma65p-laptop:/home/ma65p# wget http://download.tuxfamily.org/syzygy42/F4ECF181.gpg -O- | sudo apt-key add –
    –23:31:09– http://download.tuxfamily.org/syzygy42/F4ECF181.gpg
    => `-‘
    Resolving download.tuxfamily.org… 88.191.250.18
    Connecting to download.tuxfamily.org|88.191.250.18|:80… connected.
    HTTP request sent, awaiting response… 404 Not Found
    23:31:09 ERROR 404: Not Found.

    gpg: no valid OpenPGP data found.

  • BlackoutAngel June 29, 2008, 10:32 pm

    everything but “sudo apt-get install avant-window-navigator-svn” and I already have “# sudo apt-get update” and “# sudo apt-get upgrade”… why is it not working?

  • TeKKy August 13, 2008, 6:40 pm

    Hey, don’t forget that after you put the new repos in to: sudo apt-get update

  • joe October 28, 2008, 4:45 pm

    the bar is installed and running great but i keep getting this error ‘E:Type ‘echo’ is not known on line 63 in source list /etc/apt/sources.list, E:The list of sources could not be read.’

  • dani November 2, 2008, 10:24 am

    it said could not find avant navigator svn

  • Paul January 17, 2009, 7:58 am

    I was having ALOT of problems with AVN and i fixed everything by updating my graphics driver to nvidia 180 instead of 177, also using compiz-fusion.

  • Karl February 17, 2009, 4:49 am

    Having the same problem with the PGP key as well!

  • Beast March 14, 2009, 1:44 pm

    Thank you very much!!!

  • dani March 24, 2009, 6:28 pm

    it was a mistake to install this pos. buggy as hell and consumes cpu. stick to the panels, or buy a mac.

  • Diego March 30, 2009, 11:56 pm

    Hi there,
    I installed AWN .6 and love it. The only problem is that it is not showing active windows and I don’t know how to solve the problem. If I remember correctly the active windows where there when I first started but now I cannot manage to see them anymore.
    Can anyone help please?
    Thanks

  • Macintorge May 20, 2009, 1:32 pm

    I have a problem, when it will show me this error “Warning: The screen is composed. Please run compiz (-fusion) or another composer window.”
    What can I do? We Thank

  • russto June 17, 2011, 9:58 am

    how can i do to open awn-settings with root account?

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