Changing the size of BBdock

December 2, 2008

EDIT: It turns out that all this can be accomplished in a much easier way by launching BBdock with the command “bbdock -d 24×24” (or width x height), as David mentions in the first comment to this post. Oh well… 🙂

BBdock, one of the many useful little applications created to work with Blackbox, is a handy application launcher or dock. Though created for Blackbox and not updated in a few years, it can be used in any window manager that has a place to load dockapps, such as Openbox or Fluxbox. It is entirely configurable in a single text file (~/.bbdockrc). You can any .png file you want for the icons, and BBdock is able to raise applications you have already launched, instead of launching a new one.

The only downside to BBdock is its size. The default icon size it uses is the standard 64×64 of WindowMaker dockapps. Even if you use smaller image files, the dock itself will remain at that clunky size.

Luckily, this is not very hard to change. I prefer to have icons of 24×24, so that BBdock integrates nicely with lal, and bbpager (another one of the BBtools). Here is picture of BBdock and some other dockapps running in Openbox:


BBdock, lal, BBpager, and docker in Openbox 3.4.7

So, how do you change the default size? You’ll need to edit the source code and then compile that, so start by downloading the source code from the BBdock website:


Extract the archive, and move into the src directory of the newly extracted tarbal:

	tar xzf bbdock-0.2.8.tar.gz
	cd bbdock-0.2.8/src

Next, you’ll have to edit the Dock.hh file:

	nano Dock.hh

Search for the slotwidth( 64 ) and slotheight( 64 ) values (they should be on line 116-117), and change them to whatever size you’d prefer BBdock to use for its icons (I chose a square of 24×24):

	Settings() :
	   slotwidth( 24 ),
	   slotheight( 24 ),

Save the file and exit. Now you can compile the source code in the usual way. First install the necessary dependencies (make sure you have the source (deb-src) urls enabled in /etc/apt/sources.list!):

	sudo apt-get build-dep bbdock

Move back into the root directory of the source code, compile and install BBdock:

	cd ..
	sudo make install

(Use sudo checkinstall if you’d like to create a .deb package of the source code and install that, so that you can remove it easily later on through apt, aptitude or Synaptic)

If the installation is successful, the default icon size will be 24×24 (or whatever else you specified). Note that this size is static; even if you use smaller or bigger images, the size will remain the same.

To configure BBdock, create and edit the ~/.bbdockrc file. Each line in that file configures an icon in bbdock. You first specify the path to the icon file, followed by the command BBdock should execute when you click on the icon. If you’d like BBdock to raise applications that have already been launched instead of raising a new instance, you can specify that too. Here are some examples from my ~/.bbdockrc:

	~/.icons/bbdock/window.png:xte 'key Pause'::

The first icon uses xte to simulate a keypress of the PrintScreen key, which I have configured in Openbox’s rc.xml to launch the client-list-combined-menu which shows all running applications on all desktops. The second icon will launch a new instance of Mousepad whenever I click the icon, and the third icon will launch Opera or raise an already running instance of Opera.