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I have Ubuntu 18.04.3. I am used to the dock in the left hand picture. However, sometimes I get the right hand picture instead. The right hand one automatically hides. I'd like to only see the left.

enter image description here enter image description here

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    When your dock changes, you may hit "Alt"+"F2", input "r" (without the quotes) and hit "Enter" to restart the shell. Most likely this will repair it. Dec 22, 2019 at 18:26
  • Do you by any chance have Dash to Dock extension installed?
    – pomsky
    Dec 23, 2019 at 6:44
  • @pomsky apparently, but not intentionally gnome-shell-extension-dashtodock/bionic,bionic 63-1 all
    – joel
    Dec 23, 2019 at 12:07

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What you're seeing in the second screenshot (right one) is not actually the dock, but the GNOME dash. The dash is a default feature of GNOME Shell, it appears only in Activities (and applications) overview. Ubuntu Dock (package name: gnome-shell-extension-ubuntu-dock) is a GNOME shell extension that turns the dash into a fully-fledged dock that may appear always. Presumably you're seeing the second screenshot sometimes when the Ubuntu Dock extension is failing to load properly for some reason.

As a temporary workaround either rebbot your system (or log out and log in again) or simply restart GNOME shell by pressing Alt+F2, then typing r, and finally hitting Enter.

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