What is the best Linux Dock available? I'm looking for a Dock that I can customize to make it look the way I like. It needs to be theme-able and have lots of configuration options.

Please limit one dock solution per answer

  • 1
    Just a note to say: don't take the screenshots with too much salt: they generally show only one possible theme. But they do give you an idea of what is available.
    – 8128
    Oct 22, 2010 at 16:12

6 Answers 6


Docky Install Docky

I think Docky is the best dock on Linux, fully configurable and theme-able with many useful add-ons. You can easily give it a try, you'll find it in the Ubuntu Software Center.

Docky Screenshot

  • 2
    looks good, i like it that i can switch to panel mode :) Oct 22, 2010 at 14:26

Avant Window Navigator Install AWN

This is the one I use. It's main features:

  • You can put it in any place of the screen.
  • Lots of skins, plus a couple of different animations. It's quite beautiful
  • Taskbar/Dock
  • Lots of applets
  • Multidocks.
  • Transparency.
  • A notification area that doesn't feel out of place
  • Support for indicators (only available in the newest versions (>=0.4.1), you should use the AWN Testing PPA to benefit from this feature as October 2010)
  • Each applet/icon is a different process, if one crash the dock doesn't, so it's very stable.

The bolded features are the ones that I feel are more important.

Javier Rivera setup:

awn screenshot

  • Is that the stable PPA or the "trunk" PPA? (Because I believe 10.10 and 10.04 have the latest stable version.)
    – 8128
    Oct 22, 2010 at 14:34
  • Testing which is more or less trunk. Oct 22, 2010 at 14:46
  • BTW, I don't like the "My setup" phrase. As this is a community wiki I don't really feel that this is my answer. Oct 22, 2010 at 14:49
  • Sorry I don't know why I added "My setup", because I remember seeing it and not liking it either...
    – 8128
    Oct 22, 2010 at 16:13

Cairo-Dock Install cairo-dock

Cairo-Dock is a pretty, light and convenient interface to your desktop, able to replace advantageously your system panel! It features multi-docks, taskbar, launchers and a lot of useful applets. Applets can be detached from the dock to act as desktop widgets. Numerous ready-to-use themes are available in 1 click, and can be easily customized at your convenience. It can use hardware acceleration to be very fast and low on CPU.

Web Page and Launchpad

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  • 1
    The biggest knock against Cairo dock is that it has too many configuration options. So if that's really what you're looking for, Cairo-Dock may be right up your alley.
    – Matthew
    Oct 22, 2010 at 14:59


There is also SimDock which is in the Ubuntu Software Center. I believe SimDock is supposed to be a lighter-weight dock. But others seem to not like it as much as the others. Remember though whichever dock you use will most likely need compositing (either Compiz (Visual Effects) or Metacity Compositing turned on) to work and function correctly.

Enjoy your dock :-)



Just a simple and highly customizable quick-launch tool.

Wbar screenshot



Plank is the default dock used by elementary OS, and it is also installable in Ubuntu. It is based on Docky, and is rewritten to use Vala instead of Mono, which could make it a great option to consider if for some reason you don't want Mono on your system.

Note that Plank is currently still in development and is not available in the Ubuntu repositories yet. Thus, if you want to install it, you'll either have to add a testing PPA or compile the latest development build from source. See here for installation instructions.

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