If you’re a GNOME Do user, you will have probably heard of Docky when it was introduced as a theme in Do 0.8. Docky has split from Do into a separate project and has become a full featured dock.

Docky is a full fledged dock application that makes opening common applications and managing windows easier and quicker. Docky is fully integrated into the GNOME Desktop and features a no non-sense approach to configuration and usage. It just works.

Docky hasn’t hasn’t made any releases yet, but the project has a software source for Ubuntu 9.10. The packages closely follow the current development source code and are mostly untested, so proceed with caution.

To get Docky, add the software source ppa:docky-core/ppa and install the package docky. To do this from a terminal, use the commands below:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:docky-core/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install docky

The Docky wiki has more on installing Docky. Docky will be added under Accessories in the Applications menu.

simple Docky

When you first launch Docky you will get a pretty simple dock on the bottom of your screen. You can drag and drop your application icons to rearrange them, and drag applications from the applications menu to Docky to add them. Pull an icon from Docky out and it will disappear in a puff of smoke.

Click on the blue Docky logo to open the configuration window. While this window is open, you can click and drag to reposition the dock. You can manage multiple docks with the “New Dock” and “Delete Dock” buttons. Click a dock to select and configure it, the current dock will glow blue.

You can choose between themes and hiding modes, as well as change the icon and zoom sizes. Be sure to check out the 3D background mode, which can also be combined with any theme for a different look. Also, the intellihide hiding mode only hides the dock when the current window would be obscured by the dock.

3D Docky

Docky comes with a selection of plugins (also known as docklets). An active plugin can be configured by right mouse clicking on it in the dock. All plugins are confined to the right side of the dock, and can be rearranged in by changing the order in the active plugins list. I’m currently using the the gmail, weather, and clock plugins.

I’m very impressed with Docky, but I’m not sure whether I’m willing to give up GNOME panel yet. Still missing from Docky for me is a plugin compatible with indicator applet, a volume control, a workspace switcher, and a main menu.

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