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I will firstly post instructions on how to add the PPA repository, and then explain what's up Docky and Gnome Shell.

The following commands (must be run in a terminal) will add the Karmic Testing PPA by Rico Tzschichholz. Obviously, this will only work for Ubuntu Karmic Koala:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ricotz/testing

sudo apt-get update

That's it. This repository contains the following packages:

-Docky (version 2.0~bzr315-0 at the time of writing this post) - the dock bar part of Gnome Do (read on!)

-Gnome Shell (v. gnome-shell 2.28.1~42-g17c8) with Mutter (v. 2.28.0)

-Clutter (v. 1.0.8) - a highly promising rich graphical interface library designed by OpenedHand that is built with OpenGL and provides a GObject-based API. Clutter is still fairly new but is generating considerable excitement in the GNOME development community because it supplies a lot of much-needed graphics functionality that simply isn't supported natively by GTK+.

-InkScape (v. 0.47 Beta 4 pre) - an Open Source vector graphics editor, with capabilities similar to Illustrator, CorelDraw, or Xara X, using the W3C standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file format. This repository seems to have the most up to date version of InkScape Ubuntu builds (we've previously written on installing InkScape 0.47 Beta 3 pre, but that repository hasn't been updated. Still, if you don't use Karmic, use that repository for installing InkScape 0.47 beta 3 pre).

-A few other packages. Check them out, HERE.

Separate Docky installation


You may have heard that the "Docky" part of Gnome Do, which makes Gnome Do behave like a dock menu is about to be separated from Do:

Docky is outgrowing GNOME Do for many reasons. Internally GNOME Do was starting to look like two programs loosely coupled by a common base of items. The hacks to make Docky work internally were getting worse and worse and things were just not maintainable in the long run. The decision to split off was not easy as we knew we would lose *some* functionality. Gnome Do integration will never be as tight as it was before, but it will return. However this is not targeted for the first release.

From Launchpad.

To install Docky, after you added the PPA repository presented in the beginning of the post, run the following command in a terminal:
sudo apt-get install docky

You will then find Docky under Applications > Accessories > Docky

Please note: installing Docky will not remove Gnome Do!

Docky settings screenshot:


Among the new Docky options / improvements:

  • Ability to place Docky to the left/right side of the screen (only top/bottom was available before)
  • Run multiple instances
  • Added an option for running Docky in low memory mode
  • New applets: Gmail, mounter and bookmarks.
  • And it runs a lot faster and smoother!

Installing a Newer version of Gnome-Shell

gnome shell

The Gnome Shell (installation instructions for Ubuntu Jaunty or building it from source in Karmic) version available in the Ubuntu Karmic repositories is not that new. To update / install an updated version (after adding the repository in the beginning of the post), run the following command in a terminal:

-If you haven't install Gnome Shell before:
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell

-If you are upgrading from the Gnome Shell version in the Ubuntu Karmic repository:
sudo apt-get upgrade

The above command should also upgrade InkScape to version 0.47 beta 4 pre.

Update: Docky has been removed from this PPA, however, there is now an official Docky Development PPA available.

Unsure on how to use Gnome Shell? Then check out the Gnome Shell Cheat Sheet.
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