Saturday, August 08, 2009

Installing Kiba-Dock in Zenwalk 6 on EeeC 901

I've been using the AWN dock in many OSes over the last three years and still like it a lot. However, in recent months I have started to even prefer the Kiba-Dock despite the fact that it is no longer being maintained. It's not so much that it has any additional functionality over AWN but it's eye-candy appeal is quite a bit superior (IMO at least).
Getting it working in Ubuntu (on the Mac) and in Linux-Mint (on the EeePC) involved no more than downloading the .deb file from here (you'll need to be logged into your Ubuntu Forums account for this link to work).
To get Kiba-Dock working well in Zenwalk 6.0 required the following steps:
1. Use Alien (as #) to convert the Kiba-Dock deb package from the link above to a .tgz file
# alien -t kiba-dock_0.1-1.2_i386.deb
2. Install the kiba-dock_0.1-1.tgz using the installpkg command in Zenwalk
3. Install from Netpkg both gnome-python-extras and gconf-editor
For Kiba-Dock to work properly you need a compositor so install compiz-fusion/fusion-icon and whatever additional stuff you want. Now you should be able to get a dock of sorts by running the command

and start adding launchers to the dock. I found that it was not possible in Zenwalk to drag launchers from any of the ZW application menus. Instead I had to create launchers on the Desktop and then these can be easily dragged to the dock. You'll know they're being accepted when you see the blue down arrows appear just above the dock. Incidentally, the Kiba-Dock will not accept any potential launchers that contain spaces in their names (e.g. VLC Media Player.desktop wouldn't stay in the dock, despite the fact that the blue arrows appeared, until I changed the name to vlc.desktop).
Unfortunately, the gset-kiba function doesn't work well at this stage and information entered to it doesn't seem to be transferred to the gconf-editor.
So, a little manual work is required.
You could go to ~/.gconf/apps/kiba/options and add whatever you want to the various configuration folders here.
Alternatively, you can just copy the configuration settings from a successful install of Kiba-Dock (such as I have in Linux-Mint on the same computer).
For the I went to ~/.gconf/apps/kiba in Linux Mint and created a compressed file containing all the needed configuration settings using this command:
tar -cvzpf options.tgz options

Then I copied the options.tgz file to ~/.gconf/apps/kiba in Zenwalk and untarred it by navigating to the same folder and running
tar -zxvf options.tgz

In my case I had included a dock .png background which actually allows me to see and use Kiba-Dock without and visible dock (because I use a special .png file). In otheer words, the launcher icons seem to be just lying around at the bottom of the screen.
As the location of this file is included in the config settings, it is important that either the very same .png file must be in the very same location (e.g ~/Pictures) in Zenwalk as it is in Linux-Mint, or you'll need to go to ~/.gconf/apps/kiba/options/style and edit the %gconf.xml file to show the true .png file name and location.
Now, it's just a matter of restarting the dock (see the kiba-systray icon which should be in the bottom panel in Zenwalk -- right click and choose restart kiba-dock).
See the screenshot to see how great it looks although it looks even better when the launcher icons are moving and bouncing around.

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