ACAD – wbar

By Ninad Pundalik

Time to jazz up your Ubuntu with a Mac OS/X style doc, which will not put too much of a load on your processor. Wbar has been popularised in gOS Gadgets, where it has replaced the iBar as the default dock. To do this, you do not need to add any repositories or any complex stuff. All you have to do is download two .deb packages (yeah, no compilation from .tar.gz!), and install them! So here’s how you do that.

  • First, go to the downloads page of wbar, which is hosted on Google Code. Next, download the latest Debian package available, which is 1.3.3 as of writing.
  • Second, visit the homepage of wbarconf, a configuration application for wbar, written in Python, and download the latest debian package, 0.7.2-1 as of now.
  • Next, either install them graphically by clicking on the packages and installing with Gdebi Package Installer, or use the command line with the following command:
    $ sudo dpkg -i wbar_1.3.3_i386.deb wbarconf_0.7.2-1_i386.deb
  • After it’s installed, press ALT+F2 or click Run from the menu, and type in wbar. Bingo! You now have a cute dock sitting on your desktop. Search for wbarconf in your menus (should be in Accessories in GNOME, don’t use it much. In KDE, it’s in the Utilities), and configure it to your taste! :)

That’s it! Wasn’t it simple?

By the way, I noticed a quirk in Ubuntu 8.04, after having installed it successively on quite a few systems. From 8.04, Ubuntu, by default, does not give the users permission to mount hard disks automatically on boot. This is because of the implementation of Policy-Kit, a new security system replacing the earlier gksu/kdesu/sudo based systems. Now, permissions for specific tasks are granted, either temporarily or permanently. So once you install your new Ubuntu Hardy Heron (or the newer Intrepid Ibex, which is in Alpha stage afaik), open up Systems->Admisintration->Authorisations. Then in the list on the right, search for the section labelled ‘hal’ (Hardware Abstraction Layer), and grant yourself permissions to mount/unmount all disks/partitions by adding yourself in the list, except the last two, which are for encrypted partitions. That is unnecessary for BITSians as we do not use encrypted partitions… They are for people higly concious about data security. After you have done this, you will see on the next reboot that all your hard disks are automatically mounted, as they used to be in earlier versions of Ubuntu. Afaik, Policy-Kit will also be implemented in future versions of distro’s like Fedora, so other people can also remember to do it. :)