Ubuntu and GNOME 40

After seeing this blog post, I am getting really excited for GNOME 40. That got me thinking, could we get the option in Ubuntu to have the Ubuntu dock centered? Right now we can move it from left side to the bottom, but in order to have it centered (and expand as more apps are pinned or opened) we need to use Dash to Dock. I rather not use an extension. I actually do not use any GNOME extension other than the ones that come preinstalled. Thanks.


Maybe you could change the title to be, “Can we make Ubuntu Dock centered like Gnome 40?” I think it would catch more interest on what you want :blush:


Having the Browser on the far left and the Show Applications on the far right looks arse up and back to front to me.

I hope you can move them about with drag and drop and i wish they would add a ungroup option.

Expanding the icons from the centre sounds like a simple enhancement, if that’s what you mean. Perhaps a bigger issue will be how hard it will be to port ubuntu-dock to the new gnome-shell design (which by the way hasn’t even landed in gnome-shell master, so none of this is real yet).

We have something of a maintenance problem with Ubuntu Dock as it is; too many bugs and not enough time to work on them. If it were up to me I would remove the entire Ubuntu Dock extension, which I’ve touched on before.


Is GNOME 40 suppose to make extensions easier or are they still going to be many changes between major releases that it will equate to a cat and mouse game?

This is the way to go IMO. And I see a stronger case for removal of the desktop icons extension. It’s too buggy, doesn’t play well with the auto-hide dock and it’s so barebones than people tend to see what is not there more than what it is. You might as well put a wallpaper with some icons for the nostalgic ones ;). Regarding the dock, a couple of days ago I downloaded and installed GG and there still is the overview layout bug, with the cropped window previews. I understand quite well that you don’t have the resources for proper QA, the right call seems then to drop official support for extensions that just add to the personality, a personality that will end up being toxic this way :).


I agree that this would be the way to go. The more we can stick to the upstream and stock GNOME experience, the fewer extensions will be able to create bugs (or be rendered out-of-date), rendering the system unstable, and the more focus can be put on the few things that still need attention (theming, maybe one more modification to the Shell, i.e. appindicators). I even think that some standard GNOME behaviour like the ALT+TAB behaviour and hot corner should be stock GNOME.

I use both 20.04 and 20.10 and have used the Extensions app to inactivate Ubuntu Dock and Desktop Icons. It gives me an Ubuntu experience that is much closer to the unclutteredness of GNOME. Also, when I log into a GNOME session, I can see that the dash-to-dock extension is actually more useful, since it carries a trashcan icon and has a lot more options to modify it. In other words, I agree, the Ubuntu Dock is not sth that is worth maintaining, IMO.


I use both 20.04 and 20.10 and have used the Extensions app to inactivate Ubuntu Dock and Desktop Icons

Same, and before that used dconf-editor.

Upstream Win-Tab and Alt-Tab doing the same thing is a bit redundant IMO. True, they have Alt-Esc to switch between windows in the same desktop, but there is no preview. In MacOS when you Cmd-Tab-switch to an app, it switches to the window in the current workspace if there are more than one windows for the app. I don’t have a GNOME installation just right now, but I don’t think that’s the default behavior there. So, all in all, although I think it’s a minor detail, because of the aforementioned redundancy and because there is no other “popup switcher” for selecting windows in the same workspace/desktop, I believe Ubuntu’s customization is ok in this case. Of course, GNOME could eventually remove the window switcher feature, since it’s not their default experience.

Alt-tab is for current workspace, which Super-Tab is used for multiple workspace. And actually this concept really works well. Both are situated well as in only one key over and easy to learn if you are new.

I agree with the overall strategy to stay minimal with extensions but I’m against the idea of staying with a stock GNOME desktop. There at least two extensions that are a necessity for many people: 1) Ubuntu AppIndicators (tray icons) 2) Desktop icons NG (which supports drag and drops from nautilus and solves many never resolved issues of the current Desktop icons extension). An always visible dock is not a requirement for me.


AppIndicators seems to be uncontroversial. Last time I checked DING was described as alpha quality with a big warning by the author himself, and here we are talking about the burden of having QA for a simpler and more mature alternative, so I don’t see how DING could possibly be included as part of the Ubuntu desktop.


The new design relayout the elements in the overview but doesn’t really bring any change that would make a difference in our initial decision to provide a dock element always visible on the desktop nor for desktop icons. The question on whether the dock should be moved to the bottom and centered for consistency is valid though and something we should figure out with design.


If some of the extensions are removed, it would be nice to show suggestions for useful extensions on the Ubuntu Welcome Screen.

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The whole appeal of Ubuntu Desktop and its visual identity is vertically aligned dock positioned on the left. It’s what makes it stand out not only from the other Linux distros but from other operating systems like Windows and MacOS.

If you are still planing on removing or displacing the dock, I’d ask for the developers to allow for a transition period where both the vertically left position dock and GNOME 40 would be available. That way users could start picking up the new workflow like using touch gestures and stuff and then the dock removal/displacement proposal could be reevaluated in the next cycle.

My proposal rather would be to lobby GNOME for considering having an option of left centered dock in the activities overview or perhaps removing it from the activities all together. I think they’d be up for that, they like removing stuff :wink:


Perhaps the new design could allow creating a simpler extension that only keeps the dock visible, with not many more options. This would perhaps lessen the maintenance burden and obtain the desired effect :blush:


I’ve been thinking the same… It would be super nice to avoid extensions entirely and get options for the dock being always-visible, extended-height/width, left/bottom/right-placement upstreamed. Maybe with GNOME 41 onward we have an opportunity to do that.

Only this week did I get a reminder just how much ubuntu-dock/dash-to-dock has to hack things to work at all. It’s not something I want to see us carrying into the future.


Totally agree, that would be awesome!

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Would we be able to run Ubuntu w/GNOME 40 w/o any of the extra extension for testing purpose? That way we can help you out with always shown dock at the bottom, the new workflow, etc. Also I don’t know how easy it will be with GNOME 40 and extensions, but are there plans to support desktop icons if a user chooses to show them on their system?

When I had the same thought I tried to access the GNOME dash object to make it appear without recreating all this stuff, through a very simple extension. But I did not succeed, looked at dash.js and overview.js.
At least (maybe obviously I have overlooked something) GNOME should make the dash accessible through show/hide public functions?

Oh, some user request have led me to make this TINY extension for GS 40:
to hide overview at session startup.
Something that could be integrated to tweaks?