Top 10 Best Linux Docks That You MUST Try in 2020

Published on August 3, 2022
Top 10 Best Linux Docks That You MUST Try in 2020

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Who says Linux cannot be beautiful? Today we’ll be going over the top 10 best Linux docks that you must try. By the way, if you haven’t already done so, make sure you read our article on the best Linux distro for you.

Quick List of the Best Linux Docks That You Must Try

  1. Docky - Best Linux dock for a MacOS-like feel
  2. Tint2 - Linux dock for customization Geeks
  3. Cairo Dock - Most advanced and fully-featured GUI Linux dock
  4. DockBarX - Best Linux dock for XFCE users
  5. Latte Dock - Easy to use and highly customizable Linux Dock
  6. Plank Dock - Easiest to use Linux Dock
  7. Avant Window Navigator - Old and most configurable Linux Dock
  8. i3status - Best Linux Dock for command-line fans
  9. lemonbar - Most lightweight Linux Dock
  10. KSmoothDock - Best Linux Dock for KDE users

1. Docky - MacOS-Like Linux Dock

Docky Linux
Docky Linux

Do you love the dock on macOS but also are very loyal to Linux? Fret not because Docky solves this for you. This is the best Linux dock that will give you a macOS like feel while working on Linux.

Who should use Docky? - People who want an out of the box, easy to use experience (and also those who love the macOS Dock)

Website: Docky Official Download

2. Tint2 - Dock for Customization

Tint2 Linux Dock
Tint2 Linux Dock

Don’t underestimate the Tint2 dock by just this screenshot above. This is the best Linux dock for customization and can literally be configured to look and feel the way you want. You’re only limited by your imagination and command-line skills when configuring this Linux dock for your system.

You can download Tint2 directly with the use of your package manager. But if you’re adventurous and would like to compile from source, you can use the link below.

Who should use tint2? - Customization nerds who love the look of beautiful text and font-icons (font-awesome anyone?) with the ability to customize the entire dock from scratch.

Website: Tint2 Official Gitlab

3. Cairo Dock - Advanced GUI Linux Dock

Cairo Linux Dock Official
Source: Official Website - Cairo Linux Dock

If you want something that has all the bells and whistles and configuration options, while still being easy to use for a beginner, this is the dock you need. All of these options are configurable with the use of the dock preferences.

The default set up is good too, but with the features and configuration options provided by this dock, you might not want to look at anything else.

Who should use Cairo Dock? - People who want a highly configurable dock, without having to tinker with code or command line.

Website: Cairo Dock Official Website

4. DockBarX - Best Linux Dock for XFCE

DockBarX Linux Dock
DockBarX Linux Dock

So this dock is not limited to XFCE users but it certainly is the most popular among them. One thing to note is that if all you want is a default dock with icons that launch applications, the XFCE Panels are more than enough for the job.

The DockBarX offers additional features that the XFCE Panels don’t; like identifying which app windows are open with some icon-hinting or showing app-specific menus wherever available.

Who should use DockBarX? - If you’re an XFCE fan, but aren’t satisfied with the XFCE Panel’s functionalities, DockBarX is the dock you should choose.

Website: DockBarX Github

5. Latte Dock - Balance of Ease of Use and Features

Latte Dock Linux
Source: Official Github - Latte Dock Linux

Based on the plasma frameworks, Latte dock offers an intuitive experience for your open tasks and widgets. The content is animated with the use of parabolic zoom and the dock also features auto-hide to save screen space.

This dock was made with the K Desktop Environment in mind so most of the features work right out of the box on KDE. As it is with any Linux package, this dock can run on any other desktop environment, provided you configure it and provide it with the dependencies to run.

Who should use Latte Dock? People who are KDE users and love the beauty and features that the desktop environment offers and would love their dock to have similar features out of the box

Website: Latte Dock KDE Github

6. Plank Dock - Easiest Linux Dock

Plank Linux Dock Default
Plank Linux Dock Default

Did we say easiest? Yes, we did. This is actually the easiest Linux dock to set up and get started with. Not everyone is interested in configuring a lot of options just to get a dock show up correctly on their systems.

Though most of the Linux docks that we talked about above also work out of the box, but the sheer number of features and options make them really advanced for someone who just wants something to work.

With just the right amount of configuration options, this dock makes it easy for its users to build beautiful Linux docks.

Who should use Plank Dock? People who want easy-to-use, and out-of-the-box good looking dock which simply fits right into the current system theme.

Website: Plank Dock Launchpad

7. Avant Window Navigator - One of the Oldest Linux Docks

Avant Window Navigator Linux Dock AWN
Avant Window Navigator Linux Dock AWN

Just because it’s the oldest, doesn’t make it ugly or out-dated. In fact, it’s a very feature-rich, stable, and tried and tested Linux dock. If you are someone who loves stability over everything else, then you won’t go wrong with the AWN Linux dock.

The number of years it took to mature have made the code robust and you can use all of its features without breaking the dock.

Who should use Avant Window Navigator? People who love tried and tested technology.

Website: AWN Launchpad

8. i3status - Best Linux Dock for Command-Line Fans

I3status Linux Dock 1
I3status Linux Dock

The i3status is like an empty slate. You decide exactly what goes on it from start to finish. You decide on which side of the screen it sticks, the size of the bar, the colors that it uses, the fonts that are used, everything.

Initially built for i3-Window Manager, this status bar was liked and accepted by many users using other window managers. If you look at the screenshot above, you’ll notice how there’s a section that you can define for each element that’s visible on the bar.

Who should use i3status? - Command-line fans who want to display nerdy outputs of different commands on their docks.

Website: i3status Official Page

9. lemonbar - Lightweight Linux Dock

Lemonbar Linux Dock
Lemonbar Linux Dock

This is yet another bar that allows the configuration of each of the elements while being really lightweight on the system resources.

Who should use lemonbar? People who want to keep their system lightweight and functional at the same time.

Website: Lemonbar Github

10. KSmoothDock - Best Linux Dock Built for KDE Users

KSmoothDock Linux Dock
KSmoothDock Linux Dock

This KDE specific dock can be extended with the use of KDE Plasma widgets. This Linux dock has a lot of UI animations and transitions with which you can make it look and feel attractive.

Not everyone would love this dock as it’s really heavy on the system due to the number of dependencies that it has. But for those who are not concerned with the resource usage, and just want a lot of animations, this is your go-to Linux dock.

Who should use KSmoothDock? For people who want to use and try a lot of animations and themes to make their dock look beautiful. NOTE: This dock depends on a lot of KDE packages and if you try to install this on a different desktop environment, you’ll end up installing all those KDE dependencies too.

Website: KSmoothDock Github


Come to think of it, a dock is a really beautiful addition to your existing Linux desktop setup and with the right dock, you can make your entire setup stand out.

We’ve tried to make sure we add the most popular Linux docks to this article. But let us know which Linux dock you use and like in the comments!

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DigitalOcean Employee
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September 19, 2021

I was using Plank until the latest versions of the app and Manjaro. The dock now has a weird big transparent height which I really hate and it goes above all apps. I hope they’ll fix it soon.

- Panos

    DigitalOcean Employee
    DigitalOcean Employee badge
    March 30, 2021

    Which of these docks compiles on mate deskktops such as openindiana ?

    - Rob

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