Skip to main content

Wbar - Attractive lightweight application launcher for Desktop Linux

Its been some time since I have posted anything on my blog, which has to do a lot with my hectic study schedule. In case you still enjoy reading posts on my blog , mail me @ blogambuj( at {no spam} ) with :) as subject line. This , should be encouragement enough for me to keep writing and updating this blog more frequently.

Anyway, earlier in one of my posts I had reviewed Avant Window navigator which provided Mac OS X like dock bar. Also , I had reviewed gOS some time back, it had wonderful application launcher at the bottom iBar. Now, in this post I discuss extremely lite,attractive and modern looking application launcher wbar. wbar is very similar to gOS iBar. Even though I don't particularly like writing about eye candy, still, considering the number of emails I get from people requesting more of such posts, I am going to write about this one.

Wbar is an extremely good looking application launcher(Note: It is a application launcher and not a dock) and provides an easy access to frequently used applications(which can be easily configured). It is extremely light on resources, unlike some other similar docks and so you should get good performance on even moderately powerful computer e.g To get Animation and Transparency you do not need to run Compiz!

wbar is open source and has been released under GNU GPL v2 and has been coded in c++ using the imlib2 library.
This is how my desktop looks with wbar!

Installing and using wbar

(Note: These steps are for ubuntu 9.04, though you should be able to install easily on other distributions in a similar fashion.)

To install wbar, start terminal window from (Application -> Accessories -> Terminal) and issue the following command :

sudo dpkg -i wbar_1.3.3_i386.deb
However, its tad difficult to configure wbar i.e if you want to change icon , add/remove applications from the launcher etc. This can be simplified by using the wbarconf utility which can be downloaded and installed by issuing the following commands:
sudo dpkg -i wbarconf_0.7.2-1_i386.deb
once wbarconf is installed, you can launch wbarconf by typing "wbarconf" in the terminal window.

wbarconf allows you to change icons of the applications in the launcher, add or remove applications from the launcher, all of which would have required editing configuration file if wbarconf was not used.

wbarconf - Allows you to configure wbar easily!

Once you are done installing and configuring wbar, you can launch wbar from the terminal window. However, there are couple of parameters that you would need to specify before launching wbar, things like what should be the icon size, what should be its default position etc, which you can find out by typing "wbar -help" at the terminal window.
wbar -isize 48 -j 1 -p bottom -balfa 60 -bpress -nanim 4 -z 2.5 -above-desk

for example, the above line specifies that we want icons in our wbar to be of size 48 pixels, we want alpha to be 60 (in the range of 1-100) , we want four animated icons in our bar, it should be at the bottom of the screen and it should run above the desktop applications (You can learn more of these settings by issuing "wbar --help" ).


However, if you want to avoid typing in this command everytime you log into your gnome desktop, you could easily create a shell script and make it run every time gnome starts( If you need help with this , write a comment and I will add this).

In the end, if you are obsessed with speed, if you want your desktop to be responsive and do stuff in a jiffy then wbar is for you, it provides eye-candy with very minimal overhead and is extremely pretty.

Article Written by : Ambuj Varshney (
For Linux on Desktop Blog ,
(C) 2009 , Ambuj Varshney


  1. Good to see a new post, keep at it :]

  2. Thanx :)
    I will try to be more frequent now.

  3. Sooraj3:04 PM

    i did all the steps but it never starts wbar, and how do i automatically start it at the sys startup???

  4. Anonymous10:04 PM


    Very good tutorial. Wbar is a nice desktop add that look great and just work.

    You wrote:
    "... you could easily create a shell script and make it run every time gnome starts( If you need help with this , write a comment and I will add this).
    Yes this is a good idea, please do so. The starup is a mystery and hard to find good info about. Both GUI and manual version would be a bonus.

    // Jim G

  5. Good information...please also update it on regular basis...keep iy up ..good work


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

13 Things to do immediately after installing Ubuntu

In this article i describe some of the things to do immediately after installing ubuntu on your machine . Since most of the people reading this would be shifting from Windows to Linux with a system dual booting so i would focus more on making transition easy from Windows to Linux.

Creating Your ultimate Ubuntu 7.10 Desktop

Ubuntu 7.10 Codenamed Gusty Gibbon was released few weeks back with much fanfare ,now Ubuntu for past couple of years has been one of the most popular Desktop Linux distributions . Ubuntu 7.10 includes a number of features , applets and Wizards to simplify desktop Linux experience however because of many licensing restrictions it does not include out of the box support for popular audio/video codecs and many commercial but good applications . Also because of the limitation of trying to accommodate all kind of applications on single CD Ubuntu comes with a limited set of applications .

Now , i often have arguments with my friends who are new to computers that windows is…

Over 16 Small Games For Ubuntu Linux

Over 16 Small Games For Ubuntu Linux

Ubuntu Linux is one of the most popular Linux distribution , it is especially popular among Linux newbies and windows refuges . Now Ubuntu Linux does come with a descent set of applications , still there is a scope for including some more quality applications and especially games . Now in this tutorial i will show you how to install a large number of small , easy and less resource hungry games on Ubuntu Linux with screen-shots of games .

1. Rocks 'n' Diamonds

Rocks 'n' Diamonds is a Boulderd*sh game for X11 with more than just the falling rocks and diamonds of its namesake. The object is still to collect all the diamonds (and emeralds), then get to the exit before time runs out. But your character must make use of bombs, spaceships, and many other elements in order to fill his quota of jewels.

Installation : -

Type the following command in the terminal window


35 Cool Applications to install on Ubuntu 7.04

35 Cool Applications to install on Ubuntu 7.04
(Important : This Tutorial is For Ubuntu 7.04 To Read the Updated Article for Ubuntu 7.10 Read the Following Articles :

Cool Desktop Linux Applications(Part 1) : Internet and networking applications

Cool Desktop Applications(Part 2) : 25 Small and Simple Games for your Linux/Ubuntu Desktop

Ubuntu 7.04 is undoubtedly one of the most popular Linux distribution especially for Linux newbies , now overall it is extremely usable and good but a very limited number of applications are by default shipped with Ubuntu 7.04 . Now here in this article we look at a number of really good applications that are not shipped by default with Ubuntu as well as instructions on installing them : -

Installing/Enabling additional Repositories
Now many applications need additional repositories to be installed or some to be enabled in Synaptic package manager so before trying out steps given below ensure that repositories in order.

launch Synaptic Package Manager (Syst…