The Return Of The Dock: ‘Now Dock’ Is Now Available For Plasma 5 Users

Now Dock is a Mac OS style dock bar for KDE Plasma 5 desktop users.

Updated Apr 3, 2017Customization

The introduction of technologically advanced GNOME 3 and Plasma 5 to mainstream Linux desktops also marked the forthcoming end of the widely used standalone docks.

Docks such as Cairo-Dock (later known as Glx-Dock), Docky and Avant Window Navigator (AWN) which were highly popular during the pre-GNOME 3 era had gradually saw a steep decline in popularity.

A decline which became notably evident when the development of the above reached a new low after years of being highly active.

Since GNOME 3 brought with it not only a new look – Gnome Shell – but also a new paradigm of how modern desktop environment should be, that is, being minimal and modular.

Standalone docks became less appealing to users who now could either maintain the minimalism GNOME 3 boasts at or simply install a dock extension from GNOME Shell extensions site.

With KDE, on the other hand, things were a bit different since, unlike GNOME, KDE strives to supply its users with all the features they may need, a KDE dock widget was already available and to some degree even popular among KDE 4 users.

However, the move to Plasma 5 meant that KDE 4 components needed to be migrated / rewritten in a newer code layer, i.e Qt 5, therefore leaving many popular widgets behind, including the KDE 4 dock.

Although things appeared to be a bit grim for a while regarding dock integration over at the KDE 5 camp, it seems that KDE users who are fond of desktop docks may now rejoice as a new hope arises, it’s called – ‘Now Dock‘.

Meet Now Dock

[Update 3/4/17] Now Dock and another project called Candil-Dock have decided to join forces and make the ultimate KDE 5 dock. As a result, Now Dock development has now shifted to the new project they call Latte-Dock, and as for Now Dock itself – it’s currently no longer under development.

Now Dock “is a plasmoid [= widget] for Plasma 5 which is trying to mimic the plank or mac way of task management.”

It currently supports the following features:

Now Dock Features

  • Zoom tasks on hover
  • Window previews
  • Highlight windows
  • Visual indicator for tasks progress (e.g. copying files)
  • Various animations for several cases (e.g. adding, removing launchers and windows)
  • Activities and virtual desktops agnostic
  • Launchers
  • Dragging, drag and drop (from outside)
  • Different coloring for states
  • Plasma theming

Now Dock icons-zoom

As you can see, although fairly new, Now Dock already supports most if not all the features you’d expect to find in a desktop dock bar.

How To Install?

Now Dock can be installed either as a standard Plasma 5 plasmoid or as a ‘Now Dock Panel’ complementary.

Both of the Now Dock widgets require at least Plasma 5.7 or above, and can be installed the same way.

To install Now Dock plasmoid / Panel follow these steps:

  1. Right click on Plasma Desktop -> Unlock Widgets
  2. Right click on Plasma Desktop -> Add Widgets
  3. Get new widgets -> Download New Plasma Widgets
  4. Search for “Now Dock”
  5. Install

If you wish to support Now Dock check out either:

Now Dock Plasmoid  Now Dock Panel