The objective of this article is to provide the reader with a basic instructions on how to customize the dock panel on the default Gnome Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver desktop.

Operating System and Software Versions

  • Operating System: - Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver
  • Software: - GNOME Shell 3.28.1 or higher


Privileged access to your Ubuntu System as root or via sudo command is required.


  • # - requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
  • $ - requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Other Versions of this Tutorial

Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa)


There are variety of options for Dock customization on the Ubuntu 18.04 Gnome desktop.
Custom Dock panel on Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver Desktop
Custom Dock panel on Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver Desktop

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Using settings windows to customize dock on Ubuntu 18.04 Gnome Desktop
First we will use the provided settings window to perform some basic customization. Navigate to Settings-->Dock if you wish to perform some basic dock customization such as auto-hide, icon size and Dock position on the screen.
For more Dock customization options we can use dconf-editor. dconf-editor is not installed by default but you can install it by openning up a terminal and entering the following linux command:
$ sudo apt install dconf-tools
dconf-editor on Ubuntu 18.04
Start dconf-editor from your terminal or by searching the Activities menu.

Next, navigate to: org->gnome->shell->extensions->dash-to-dock schema. Feel free to browse and play with any settings available on this page to customize your Dock panel.
All Dock customization can also be accomplished from the command line. For example the following set of commands will turn your Dock panel into:
Unity backlit like Dock on default Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver Desktop.
Unity like backlit Dock panel on the default Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic Beaver Desktop.

$ gsettings set org.gnome.shell.extensions.dash-to-dock extend-height false
$ gsettings set org.gnome.shell.extensions.dash-to-dock dock-position BOTTOM
$ gsettings set org.gnome.shell.extensions.dash-to-dock transparency-mode FIXED
$ gsettings set org.gnome.shell.extensions.dash-to-dock dash-max-icon-size 64
$ gsettings set org.gnome.shell.extensions.dash-to-dock unity-backlit-items true
Do not worry if you mess some things up! In that case use gsettings' reset directive to reset any settings to their default value. For example the below command will reset the Dock icon size to default:
$ gsettings reset org.gnome.shell.extensions.dash-to-dock dash-max-icon-size
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