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Use Avant Window Navigator To Customize Your Ubuntu Desktop Appearance

Avant Window Navigator (AWN) is a dock-like bar for Linux. It resides at the bottom of desktop and tracks open windows and represents them as an icons, so as a results it adds a pretty cool look to your Ubuntu desktop. It also supports various types of plugins and applets. Lets see how we can install and use it in Ubuntu.

First open terminal from Applications > Accessories > Terminal and run following command to install it.

sudo apt-get install avant-window-navigator awn-manager

It will take some time to install, once installation is complete you can launch it from Applications > Accessories > Avant Windows Navigator. Here is screenshot showing how it adds eye-candy look to your desktop by residing at bottom of the screen and showing all open application icons.


Now once you hover your mouse over any icon, it will let you know its details and upon clicking the icon the particular application will be loaded. You can easily customize the settings from System > Preferences > AWN Manager.


You can explore more about its settings from above displayed Preferences box. Enjoy!


  1. Cairo Dock looks like a noisy circus. A lot of graphics effects at the expense of usability. I have really spent time to learn it, asked support in Cairo forum. I show screenshots of how I use AWN, Caiso cannot reproduce the same behavior. For example a simple thing like displaying a readable label below the icon is not possible with Cairo Dock.

    In my opinion AWN is smarter. It might be less eye candy but it is more convenient to use.

    • The latest version of Cairo-Dock really fixed most of the annoyances it had, and it’s now my favorite dock (even ditched Unity after few days).
      Eye-candy can be easily turned off (in fact, the default theme is already very sober), and I find its applets to be more useful (the RSS feed reader, the switcher and the clock+calendar applets are just perfect).

  2. Hi,

    I’m a developer for the Awn/Awn Extras project. Thanks for promoting Awn! I’d like to point out a few typos, though. The “official” abbreviation for Avant Window Navigator is “Awn”, and the Application menu path for Awn is “Applications > Accessories > Avant Window Navigator”.

    Thanks again!


  3. Yeah AWN looks nice, but it wasn’t like stable last time I checked..
    I’d recommend Cairo Dock, pretty much the same and haven’t crashed once on me

    • Hi,

      The 0.3.x series is very stable (compared to the 0.2.x series), you should try Awn again 🙂

      -malept (Awn/Awn Extras developer)

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