Docks are utility software designed to basically make launching applications and navigating between app windows as easy as possible alongside beautifying the entire process.
They implement animations, app icon shadows, customization options, widgets, etc. in different ways but they all aspire to one goal – boost productivity.
Read Also: 8 MacOS Like Docks for Ubuntu
Today, I bring you a list of the best dock applications that are not just beautiful and customizable with high compatibility, but also 100% free to use.
1. Latte Dock
Latte Dock is an open source dock app developed for KDE Plasma. It was designed using plasma frameworks to provide users with a consistent User Experience by completely replacing the desktop panels.
Latte Dock‘s features include multi-monitor support, auto-hide, customizability with fonts, zoom effects, blur effects, and themes. Learn more about Latte Dock.
To install Latte Dock, you must have KDE Plasma installed.
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:rikmills/latte-dock $ sudo apt update $ sudo apt install latte-dock
2. Dash to Dock
Dash to Dock is an open source extension developed to turn the GNOME shell into a dock from the typical app overview menu which in turn speeds up the rate of switching between desktops and open apps.
Dash to Dock‘s features includes ease of use, integration support with desktop notifications, timers, etc., windows previews, and multiple monitor support.
Learn more about Dash to Dock.
Plank is a beautiful and arguably the simplest dock you’ll ever use. Its goal is to provide users with only what is required of a dock and nothing more and it ships with some Ubuntu derivatives by default e.g. Ubuntu Mate. What’s even cooler is that it has a library with which you can create other docks with extra functionality.
Install Plank dock from the default repositories on Ubuntu and its derivatives.
$ sudo apt install plank
tint2 is a highly customizable panel for Xorg that can be configured to display a system tray, battery monitor, task list, and a range of usage options such as displaying all open applications in specific or all desktops, display multiple instances of the same application, display output for user commands, etc.
Install tint2 from the default repositories on Ubuntu and its derivatives.
$ sudo apt-get install tint2
Docky is a beautiful, customizable MacOS-like dock for Linux distros. It is easy to use and allows users to add apps to the launcher together with choices from an array of docklets (docky widgets) for displaying information such as a clock, weather, and CPU usage.
Install Docky from the default repositories on Ubuntu and its derivatives.
$ sudo apt-get install docky
6. Cairo Dock
Cairo Dock is a beautiful dock designed to run in virtually any Desktop Environment. It is fast, lightweight, easily customizable through its customization menu, and has notification support for all applications you add to it.
Install Cairo Dock using following PPA on Ubuntu and its derivatives.
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:cairo-dock-team/ppa $ sudo apt-get update $ sudo apt-get install cairo-dock cairo-dock-plug-ins
7. Avant Window Navigator
Avant Window Navigator has excellent support for themes coupled with the ability to embed external applets with ease.
Install Avant Window Navigator (AWN) from the default repositories on Ubuntu and its derivatives.
$ sudo apt-get install awn
DockBarX is a flexible taskbar designed as a replacement for DockX as well as an Avant Window Navigator applet, a panel applet for GNOME, Mate, and Xfce.
Install DockBarX using following PPA on Ubuntu and its derivatives.
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xuzhen666/dockbarx $ sudo apt-get update $ sudo apt-get install dockbarx
KSmoothDock is a functional open source macOS-inspired desktop panel designed for KDE Plasma with parabolic zooming effects for the application menu, pager, launchers, and task manager.
Simdock is another macOS-inspired, Avant Window Navigator-like dock with pseudo-transparency designed to be simple to use. Its features include customized launchers, smart implementation of Xrandr, MacOS-like zoom effects, and working without a compositing window manager.
Install Simdock using following PPA on Ubuntu and its derivatives.
$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:onli/simdock $ sudo apt-get update $ sudo apt-get install simdock
So there you have it folks, the best free docks for your Linux machine. Let me know what you think about the list and feel free to add your suggestions in the discussion section.