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An Early Look at Ubuntu Dock for GNOME Shell in Ubuntu 17.10 (Artful Aardvark)


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It's based on the Dash to Dock GNOME extension

Ubuntu 17.10, the next major release of the widely-used Ubuntu Linux OS, will be transitioning to the GNOME Shell user interface by default instead of the Unity desktop environment that was used until now.

As some of you may already know, Canonical plans to create a modified GNOME Shell experience for the main Ubuntu 17.10 flavor, along with a vanilla one, and they recently revealed the fact that there will be an always visible dock by default, based, of course, on the very popular Dash to Dock extension for GNOME Shell.

To keep you guys up-to-date with the development of Ubuntu, we're running the operating system on a daily basis, continuously monitoring incoming packages and other changes. As of August 16, 2017, Canonical's Didier Roche uploaded a package called gnome-shell-extension-ubuntu-dock in Ubuntu 17.10 repositories.

It's no brainer that's the package to enable Canonical's modified Dash to Dock extension on the GNOME Shell, and, once installed, it can be easily enabled from the Extensions section of the GNOME Tweaks utility. As of now, the dock won't be automatically enabled after it's been installed, not even after logging out the session.

It piggybacks on Dash to Dock

Canonical said in one of their recent reports that they have no plans to make major modifications to the Dash to Dock extension, so their modified dock piggybacks on Dash to Dock, using its settings. As we see it, you'll need to have Dash to Dock installed as well to change the look and functionality of the Ubuntu Dock.

In terms of design, there aren't any major differences between Dash to Dock and Ubuntu Dock, except for the fact that there's an orange color used for the windows counter indicators, but that can be easily changed from the settings, as well as the position of the dock to anywhere on the screen (left, right, bottom, top), it's size, behavior, appearance, etc.

When Ubuntu Dock is enabled by default in the Ubuntu 17.10 daily builds, which should happen in the coming weeks, we believe that Canonical will choose to place the dock on the left side of the screen to recreate the Unity desktop experience. It remains to be seen if Ubuntu Dock will have additional features, but one thing is for sure, you'll be able to disable Ubuntu Dock and use Dash to Dock instead, or any other dock for that matter.




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Canonical Unveils the Ubuntu Dock, Here's What It Looks Like on Ubuntu 17.10




It's a light fork of Dash to Dock extension for GNOME Shell

Ubuntu contributor and Open Source developer Didier Roche had the pleasure of revealing today the Ubuntu Dock, Canonical's modification of the Dash to Dock extension for the GNOME desktop environment of the upcoming Ubuntu 17.10 operating system.

We gave you a first glimpse of the Ubuntu Dock the other day, and we were wondering if Canonical will place the dock on the left side of the screen or at the bottom. Well, today's revealing confirms that it's on the left, similar to the location of the Unity Launcher in current stable Ubuntu Linux releases.

"Today is the day. After upgrading (and all things migrating), our new Ubuntu Dock should be installed by default and activated in your Ubuntu artful session. Note that of course, this is part of the GNOME Shell ubuntu mode and not enabled in the GNOME vanilla session," said Didier Roche in his latest blog post.

Ubuntu Dock's settings to be exposed via GNOME Control Center

For now, Ubuntu Dock piggybacks on Dash to Dock's settings, which means that even if Canonical did a nice paint job on it, you'll be able to modify everything, including its position, size, color, transparency, behavior, etc. But there are a few reasons why Canonical decided to make their own fork.

For example, the dock needs to be enabled by default on the live medium and after installing Ubuntu 17.10, and for that a native package must exist in the repos, not an extension. Also, Canonical wanted to offer users a unique desktop look and feel, and upgrading Dash to Dock would have broken its initial design.

As Didier Roche mentioned in his blog, users should know that the Ubuntu Dock is, in fact, a customized version of Dash to Dock that ships with different default settings. And, as expected, the Ubuntu Dock will always be visible by default, though you can choose to disable it and install another dock.

Canonical's Ubuntu Dock doesn't ship with a settings button like Dash to Dock, but you can use that of Dash to Dock if it's installed on your Ubuntu 17.10 machine. Instead, users will be able to control a few aspects of the Ubuntu Dock via GNOME Control Center's Displays panel.

"You can change here the icon size in the launcher, the Hide mode (intellihide is available) and showing the dock in all monitors or your preferred one," said Didier Roche. "This impacts as well Dash to Dock if you installed it. Of course, this change is only visible in the Ubuntu session, not the GNOME vanilla one."

It should also be noted that Canonical decided to implement a functionality that will make it possible to migrate your existing Unity Launcher settings to Ubuntu Dock's when you want to upgrade your Ubuntu 16.04 LTS or Ubuntu 17.04 PCs to Ubuntu 17.10 this fall on October 19.










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