adeskbar, for fun and profit

Thanks to everyone who leaves notes here or sends e-mails, to suggest applications or distros that I might like. Occasionally I get bogged down with real-life issues and can’t give each one the attention they deserve, but I can promise that at least 98 percent of the time, I take a peek at your suggestion. And all of them are helpful.

The note from Sertse last week about adeskbar was particularly fruitful.


I have used wbar in Openbox setups off and on for the past year or so, since I saw it at work with Tiny Core Linux. I figured, if wbar is lightweight enough to be used on ultra-ultra-ultra-lightweight distros, then it is probably speedy enough for my day-to-day Openbox arrangements. adeskbar is probably equally light (the source code package undercuts wbar by about 175Kb roughly, but that’s not a guarantee it’s “lighter” 😉 ), and approaches the same issue from a slightly different angle.

If you’re GUI-oriented anyway, adeskbar might be a winner for being quicker on the configuration. Right-click anywhere on the bar itself and you get the Preferences menu, and the options there are very self-explanatory. (To be fair, you can get the same ease-of-setup with wbar, by installing a sidecar application called wbarconf.)

The appearance is what you make of it; what I’ve made of it here is only to meant to serve as a kind of pop-out “quickbar,” with the additions of a shutdown and reboot button (using sudo /sbin/halt or sudo /sbin/reboot with the /etc/sudoers file giving permission for the users group to do such a thing). I like that it snaps out instantly, hovers for an extra second, and I like that the “tooltips” and icons are customizable.

It also has a lot of interesting animation and transparency effects — much more than I can investigate here. But if you take a few moments and look around for some screenshots, you’ll see quite a few arrangements that put my instant pop-out quickbar to shame. (I was shooting for that annoying Windows 98 toolbar that I vaguely remember from 10 years ago. … 🙄 )

In any case, between wbar and adeskbar, you should have more than enough to work with as a functional and attractive start bar for elderly hardware. Enjoy. 😉


11 thoughts on “adeskbar, for fun and profit

  1. Art

    Hi, adeskbar certainly looks interesting.

    I for my part wouldn’t use a bar to launch applications (for that I’m happily and effectively using kupfer — a keyboard driven launcher), but it would be interesting as a mean to have a graphical representation of open/active applications (which is the other use of the Mac OS X Dock) instead of using the window list on the taskbar, which IMHO (and in my personal use case) uses to much space.

    Does adeskbar also lists open apps?


  2. azbot

    Not got any thoughts on adeskbar as I use linux, just wanted to say welcome back I’ve missed your posts over the last days. Oh and “thanks” for getting me addicted to Stone Soup :-/

  3. cherax

    The default taskbar in any single-panel GUI will rapidly fill up with more than a couple of programs open. Add multiple desktops to the mix, and things can get very overcrowded and inefficient. To simplify things, I use tint2, a wonderful little taskbar, to display a separate sub-bar for each of my virtual desktops; it lives at the top of my screen. That leaves the bottom panel as a launchbar and systray (I remove the “taskbar” applet from the lower panel altogether). Xfce launchers can start multiple programs, so I set them to launch the programs I use the most – one for graphics programs, one for editors, etc.; the “start” menu holds everything else. Both panels are auto-hide, so they don’t take up any room unless I’m actually using one of them. Tint2 also works well with LXDE, and the download is only 201k; it’s neat, extremely customizable, and very fast, and I can really make the most of multiple desktops.

    My second choice: The Xfce “iconbox” applet, which shows the icons of open programs, and can be used as a taskswitcher. Iconbox works nicely on a vertical screen edge (as you did with adeskbar), and can be set to autohide as well. I prefer Tint2 because it displays open programs by desktop.

  4. Pingback: Links 5/4/2010: GNOME 3 Mockups, KDE 4.4.2 in Mandriva 2010 | Techrights

    1. K.Mandla Post author

      Nope, you’re definitely not alone. 😀 I prefer it really, if only because it’s faster at displaying results when I’m using a text-only browser.

      1. Chris

        I’m actually the author of ‘Pretty Scroogle’, if you use Greasemonkey you might want to check it out:

        Duck Duck Go is a new search engine and looks promising too. The guy did an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit a while back;

        The amount of information Google has on me based on my searches and the content of my Gmail account is pretty scary. Even my University uses Gmail. Remember what happened when someone at AOL decided to publish a small sample of searches? Although they figured it would be enough to just replace the IP addresses with a uniquely generated id it still revealed some disturbing information…


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