7 Docks to Customize Your Linux Desktop

A dock has been an important part of the Linux desktop experience for decades. It provides a handy way of quickly accessing your favorite, frequently used applications.

Unfortunately, the popular desktop environment GNOME doesn’t provide a dock.

Fret not. You can always install a Docking application on your Linux desktop.

And this is not just limited to GNOME. If you don’t like the dock provided by your distribution and the desktop environment, you can replace it with another one of your choices.

Speaking of choices, let me share some of my favorite docks that will help you change the default look of your desktop Linux.

I have added installation instructions for Ubuntu. You may find these docks in your distribution’s repositories and install it using your distribution’s package manager.

1. Plank

7 Docks to Customize Your Linux Desktopbeautiful Linux distros. But this was not the only reason why Plank exists on this list.

It gives you the simplest dock you can get for its functionality.

Hence, it is also light on system resources, so pairing it with your favorite window manager can be a good idea (sadly, you won’t get many customization options).

You can also experience the fine implementation of Plank dock in other distros such as Ubuntu MATE and others.

To install Plank on Ubuntu derivatives, use the given command:

sudo apt install plank

2. Latte

7 Docks to Customize Your Linux Desktopinstall Latte on Ubuntu-based distributions using:

sudo apt install latte

3. Dash to Dock

7 Docks to Customize Your Linux DesktopExtension Manager or follow our guide to install the GNOME extension.

For more information, you can visit their official GNOME extension page.

4. Cairo

7 Docks to Customize Your Linux Desktopsudo apt install cairo-dock cairo-dock-plug-ins

5. DockbarX

7 Docks to Customize Your Linux DesktopNote: The last release was in 2019.

So if you are looking for a dock that can also function in panel mode, DockbarX can be your next dock, especially if you are using Xfce DE.

It is a simple dock you can try with any desktop environment.

DockbarX is one of those docks which enables you to tweak the way you interact with it. From the dock’s background, and themes to notifications, everything can be tweaked.

The installation is basic, and if you are using an Ubuntu-based distro, you can easily install DockbarX by using the given command:

sudo apt install dockbarx-themes-extra

6. KSmoothDock

7 Docks to Customize Your Linux Desktopofficial download page. In either case, you can choose to compile it from scratch if you’re comfortable.

7. Tint2: Dock for Window Managers

7 Docks to Customize Your Linux DesktopNote: Its last release was in 2019.

Tint2 is a widely used dock/panel, when coupled with window managers, and in terms of customization, probably no one comes close to this.

This might not be a good choice if you are a beginner but suitable for advanced users who love to tinker with each element available on DE.

You will find Tint2 in default repositories of almost every Linux distribution and if you are still confused about how to install Tint2 on Ubuntu, type the following command:

sudo apt install tint2

To reduce your efforts in customization, I found a set of pre-defined themes on Github which is created by considering each type of user in mind.

What’s Your Favorite Linux Dock?

Docks are one of the several ways you can customize your desktop. Other methods include using different icons and themes, wallpapers, terminal colors, extensions and more.

I have listed the best Linux docks, in my opinion. Some of the popular options haven’t seen a new release in the last few years but they may still be found in your distribution’s repositories.

What do you prefer to use among the listed Linux docks? Did we miss any of your favorites? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


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