Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.

Avant Window Navigator is a dock / task manager for Linux, which was very popular a while back. Its developers lost interest with the introduction of Unity, and after several years of inactivity, the project was taken over by a new maintainer.

Unfortunately, the new maintainer isn't too active either, but at least Avant Window Navigator was updated to work with recent Linux distributions.

Avant Window Navigator Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

Mike Baum created an Avant Window Navigator PPA for Ubuntu 16.04 / Linux Mint 18, because the official AWN PPA wasn't updated in a while.

There are a few AWN applets from this PPA that can't be installed, so I decided to rebuild the packages in the main WebUpd8 PPA. Update: I added Ubuntu 14.04 / Linux Mint 17.x packages to the PPA.

Before installing Avant Window Navigator in Ubuntu 16.04, note that if you encounter bugs, chances are they aren't going to be fixed. Also, some Avant Window Navigator applets no longer work, mostly those that rely on various web services, like the Weather applet or the Pandora Radio applet, or which were built for technologies that have seen significant changes in recent years, like the Indicator applet, Lock Screen or the Media Player applet.

Many applets do still work though, like AWN Main Menu, Cairo Main Menu, Hardware Sensors, Notification Area, Shiny Switcher, Stacks, System Monitor, Terminal, Volume Control, and even the Zeitgeist-based Related applet.

Avant Window Navigator is obviously not something you'd want to install if you use Unity, since you already have a dock that can't be removed, but it can be a nice addition for nostalgics (and not only) that use the Flashback session, or on other Ubuntu flavors, like Xubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, etc.

I should also mention that a while back I removed the AWN applet from the DockBarX package (I maintain the official DockBarX PPA), but since you can now install AWN in Ubuntu 16.04, I re-enabled it for the Xenial package.

Note: for the screenshot above, I used AWN with the Lucido style (see THIS ancient article for how to customize the AWN Lucido style) and the the DockBarX applet (available in the DockBarX PPA for Xenial - after adding the PPA, install the "awn-applet-dockbarx" package).

Install Avant Window Navigator in Ubuntu 16.04 or Linux Mint 18

Avant Window Navigator is available in the main WebUpd8 PPA, for Ubuntu 16.04 / Linux Mint 18. Update: I added Ubuntu 14.04 / Linux Mint 17.x packages.

To add the PPA and install Avant Window Navigator, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:nilarimogard/webupd8
sudo apt update
sudo apt install --install-recommends avant-window-navigator

Important: if Avant Window Navigator crashes the first time you run it, use the following command to restart gconfd-2:
killall gconfd-2

Then, use Synaptic Package Manager to install the AWN applets you want to use (simply search for "awn applet" and you should get a complete list of applets).

Or, to install all the available applets (except the DockBarX AWN applet, which is not part of AWN), use the following command:
sudo apt install --no-install-recommends awn-applets-all

I used "--install-recommends" for the AWN package because on Linux Mint, recommended packages are not installed by default, and that would result in awn-settings package (among a few others) not being installed. For the awn-applets-all, I used "--no-install-recommends" to prevent it from installing Unity Control Center and other Unity / GNOME Flashback packages along with the AWN applets in Xubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, etc (this is not the case for Linux Mint).

For other Linux distributions, you can find the source code on GitHub: