Sunday 18 October 2009

Adding a deskbar to Ubuntu 9.10's panel to search files and other things

Interestingly enough, my trusty deskbar applet seems to have gone missing in this latest flavour of Ubuntu 9.10 (aka Karmic Koala). Usually, you would be able to right click on the main panel (The bar on the top of the screen that has Application, Places and Systems and so on) and add the panel called "Deskbar" to your computer.

Why deskbar you ask? Because deskbar is to ubuntu as spotlight (or Windows Start menu search) is to Mac OS X (or Windows 7). It helps you quickly find the files that you need on your Ubuntu partition or your PC partition, and helps you do stuff like quick math, searching the dictionary and searching the Interwebs.

So anyway, turns out that you have to install deskbar manually on 9.10. To do so, open a terminal window and install it by hand.
  1. Click Applications > Accessories > Terminal
  2. Type in

    sudo apt-get install deskbar-applet
  3. Type in your password if Ubuntu asks you for one
  4. Restart gnome panel by typing in (note: typing in gnome-panel after the first line may not be necessary, as ubuntu is smart enough to restart it automatically!):

    killall gnome-panel
  5. Then right click on the panel where you'd like deskbar, Click Add to Panel, drag and drop deskbar whever you like
Oh, and you might want to remember the handy shortcut Alt+F3 to access deskbar if you need to.

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