The best and worst docks for Ubuntu
Docks became popular when Mac began using them in their operating system. But these days docks are available on all platforms.
So which ones should you avoid and which ones should you use?
Lets start with the ones you should avoid.
It’s in the official Ubuntu 8.04 repository, but don’t ask me why. The screen shot says it all.
Advise: avoid at all costs!
2. Gdesklets dock
I didn’t even install this one in hardy. I’m speaking from experience about this dock.
Gdesklets was extremly unstable for me in gutsy and made my pc crash on numerous occasions.
When it was not busy crashing, it was having a serious impact on resources.
If you want a screen shot, try google.
Advise: try it if you want, but be warned, you’ll hate it.
3. Kiba Dock
The dock itself isn’t to bad. It’s not the best, but still pretty good. The reason I think people should avoid this application is because you need to compile it from source.
Advise: if you feel like compling it from source, by all means do so
Now, which ones should you try?
Short for Avant Window Navigator, AWN is one of the best docks availabe this day. It offers great applets, you can download themes from the internet, it has a flat and 3d look (look here for the curved look). You can set all kind of effects for the icons.
I didn’t crash on me when I used it and I didn’t experience any kind of impact on my system because of awn.
It’s in the Ubuntu repository, so install it as you would any other application.
Advise: if you are looking for a dock, you should test this one.
2. Cairo Dock
My favorite one.
The reason? It just looks the best.
The program comes with a dozen or so standard “skins” you can choose the first time you start it.
It has all the options you would expect from a dock, and some more.
It is not in the repositories (I don’t get how simdock gets in, and this doesn’t), but installation is easy.
Go to this page, and download the latest “dock” and “plugin” .deb files. Double click them to install. After installation, you can open Cairo Dock using “applications -> system tools”.
Advise: the best one available for ubuntu, so make sure to give it a try.
If you want any of the docks to start on start up, add them in “system -> preferences -> session”.
In the “command” box, you should enter the name of the application, search for the application in synaptic (system -> administration) after you installed it, and use that exact name.
Note: KXDocker is/will be discontinued so it isn’t in the list.
If you know any other docks, feel free to mention them in the comments. I will be happy to add them into the post.
Adviced by users:
It’s more of an application launcher, because I doesn’t let you “dock” programs, but it has a usefull number of apps it can launch.
The best part of this little “dock” is that it doesn’t need a composite manager (like compiz fusion, or the one build into Ubuntu 8.04) to run. So it’s perfect to add some eye-candy if you are running low-end hardware.
Download the .deb file here.
Advice: If you are running low-end hardware, this might be for you.
Trendy Teddy mentioned there are GUI’s (graphical interfaces) available to change some settings.
There is a new dock on the scene called “Docky”.
It’s actually more than just another dock, it’s a front end for gnome-do.
The dock can be used to search for all sort of things, in the screenshot I just entered “U” and it suggested to play all U2 songs.
When I pressed enter, Rhytmbox popped up and played all my U2 songs.
This is the best dock for any operating system by far.