Ubuntu Dock Design

Ubuntu Dock can be moved to three sides. When moved to bottom, the App-Grid icon goes to the right hand corner. This is not an easy to use position for an app launcher. The wrist doesn’t like to turn towards right that easily. So, this icon is moved to the left, as shown below.

The thing is, the whole right side of the dock is now empty, making the right side visually somewhat useless. In the most used bottom panels, usually one sees the notification area, session logout etc on that side of the panel/dock.

@didrocks Any ideas, thoughts on getting rid of that unused space?
Maybe, put every single app on that dock to cover the space, making the app grid obsolete?


Get rid of the whole visual, workflow problem by consolidating the top panel and the dash/dock to one panel on the bottom, also autohiding it to reclaim the whole laptop screen area, as shown below?

This can be changed by dconf-editor

So basically you prefer a KDE/Windows approach


It is not about KDE/Windows preference, but about the empty space in the Ubuntu Dock, when placed on the bottom, and when the App-grid icons moved to the left.

The wrist doesn’t like to turn to the right, so having the app-grid icon on the right end is not that good. After a while, the wrist aches. The logical place for the Ubuntu dock is the left side on the screen. Just reporting what I noticed. :slight_smile:

You misunderstood, I talked only about the approach, making the most evident examples. However, considering that windows controls are on the top right, it makes sense to me to concentrate other controls in that area of the screen. Wrist preferences are very subjectives I believe :smiley:

While you are still young…:slight_smile:

First of all this “problem” is not a problem it is a preference
Secondly it is in any case nothing “Major”
And thirdly the whole dock is only empty, because you moved the app grid button to the left. There is no option installed by default to move the app grid logo to the left. I assume you made this on purpose with some other gnome extension (for example, install dash to dock, disable it but use the options dialogue?).
When you open gnome-settings->dock you can move the dock but not the app grid button.
So to be honest this whole thread is pretty pointless.

First I moved the app grid icon to the top, then put the whole dock to bottom.

echo show-apps-at-top=true >> /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas/10_ubuntu-dock.gschema.override
glib-compile-schemas /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas/

This kind of command isn’t supported offically, you are modifying settings that are not easily accessible to any user. Consequently, you create the design issue on purpose.
I would tend to agree with @frederik-f that as it’s not a supported configuration, I wouldn’t call this “major”, and not something we’ll likely take time to investigate as other bugs with higher priorities would benefit more users.

It is freely available in the 'net, especially in Ask Ubuntu…

All the user has to do is ask, “How do I move the “Show Applications” icon in Ubuntu Dock?”


But it is not supported officially so I think there isn’t much productive coming out of this.
It’s like if you would buy a car, put the seat on top of the car and then complain that it’s too cold if you drive on the highway sitting on top of your car.

If you want to tweak this
I would suggest that you rather install dash to dock, disable it, open the options and change the dock from “expanded” mode to the small mode. Then you have a small dock

But that is unsupported as well and might produce any behaviour that maybe needs you to reset the whole desktop, if you want to take the risk this trick works
(I’m not from Canonical or officially Ubuntu so I’m just a user giving you a tip that could cause issues)

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Thank you for your “tip.” Changing the schemas would not bring in “issues.”
Tweaking is the standard pass time of Linux distro users, Ubuntu users from the beginning. If an “issue” would happen, all you do is re-install the distro, and re-try. These days, the hard disks are large, so the same distro can be installed in few partitions. One such try is here. And, in the post #28, you’d notice a different Nautilus than you have, with a white square icon on the top left of that Nautilus. You see, I never used the “default” distro since so long.

Okay, you tweaked your desktop - really awesome. Other than that, what is the point of this thread? You changed a default behaviour and thus produced an unintended case which has not been designed yet complain about it being a problem?
I just don’t understand your posts and threads, sorry.

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I’m also of the opinion that Ubuntu Dock should be improved.
In my opinion, having these options would be a great improvement:

  • Option to put the launcher button (menu) at the beginning of the dock;
  • Option to minimize window by clicking the icon;
  • Option to leave the dock centered (like Gnome pure or macOS) without being stretched;
  • Option to merge the dock with the top panel, as the extension Dash to Panel.

Why should these options exist?

  • Prevents the need to install extensions (such as Dash to Dock or Dash to Panel) and modifications in dconf;
  • More customization options, useres like to customize;
  • It satisfies users who prefer a family layout (so they can configure as they like);
  • The normal user prefers everything out of the box. For a new user to look for extensions and tutorials on the internet can be something more complicated and unnecessary. If by default there are no features they like, they prefer to go to other distros. Currently, other distros have grown a lot because they are very user friendly, this would be another way to retain and attract new users.

But this is just my opinion :slight_smile:
I was to have opened a topic with these suggestions, but in the end I ended up not doing it.


Complaining? Hmm…no, not at all!

At the beginning, the heading was “some thoughts,” which finally became “major problem.” In the OP, I named @didrocks, who actually created the Ubuntu Dock (and also the Unity Launcher). Hope is that, the Ubuntu Dock would be as good as the Unity Launcher.

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I agree with the position of the launcher, or in a broader sense, the activity button and launcher might need a redesign, but I believe this is a discussion to be done with upstream Gnome devs.

Very keen on minimize app clicking on the icon as well.

The other options goes with what you said yourself

it satisfies users who prefer a family layaut (so they can configure as they like)

Ubuntu considered a familiar layout the Unity one, since the user base probably used that before. This is why we have a stretched dock for instance.

I do prefer one extention that does one thing (or few things) very well, than one that does everything. It’s also Unix philosophy.


When I referred to those who might have preferred a familiar layout, I meant mainly those who come from Windows or even MacOS.

I notice that many new useres are preferring to go more to eg Linux Mint than to Ubuntu, because of the more familiar layout and usability. Ubuntu does not need to imitate these systems, but some optional features could greatly improve Ubuntu.

It seems to me that Ubuntu lost some of the appeal it had for new users, there are great alternatives, and I think that small details implemented could make Ubuntu much better, for example a new Welcome Screen that I even suggested in another topic .

A screeny tells a story…

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This thread seems to be getting diluted and sidetracked.

It seems to be a mishmash of minor design and setting complaints (fine with those, but they are going nowhere) mixed in with some seeming upstream issues (that are useless to discuss here).

Changing the title to “Ubuntu Dock Design”. If the discussion is not about the dock, please take it to an appropriate thread.


I honestly think if we had the option in Gnome Setting -> Dock to move the launcher (to the top or bottom), then this would eliminate a lot of “issues” some users might have. This would also work well when the dock is at the bottom as the launcher could be placed to the far left.

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