How to: Convert Unity Launcher into Dock Style Launcher

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The Unity Launcher in Ubuntu is placed on the left side of the screen. But you can also view it at the bottom of the screen. There is a way to convert the Unity Launcher into a dock-style launcher at the bottom.

Having a dock-style launcher at the bottom provides you great accessibility and comfort.

  1. First, we will be installing the Unity Tweak Tool and Cairo-Dock. To install the Unity Tweak Tool, click the Ubuntu Software Center icon on the Unity Launcher.

    01_opening_ubuntu_software_center

  2. Start typing “unity tweak” in the search box in the upper-right corner of the Ubuntu Software Center window. Results start to display in the list as you type. When the “Unity Tweak Tool” displays in the list, click on it and then click the “Install” button.

    02_clicking_install_for_unity_tweak_tool

  3. When the “Authenticate” dialog box displays, enter your password in the “Password” edit box and click “Authenticate.”

    03_authenticate_dialog

  4. The progress of the installation is displayed on the right side of the “Unity Tweak Tool” item in the list.

    04_installation_progress

  5. Now, search for Cairo-Dock and install it using the same procedure we described for installing the Unity Tweak Tool.

    05_installing_cairo_dock

  6. When the installation of Cairo-Dock is finished, click the X button in the upper-left corner of the Ubuntu Software Center window to close it.

    05a_closing_ubuntu_software_center

  7. To open the Unity Tweak Tool, click the icon on the Unity Launcher.

    06_opening_unity_tweak_tool_from_unity

NOTE: If you don’t have an icon on the Unity Launcher for the Unity Tweak Tool, open the Dash and type “unity”. The Unity Tweak Tool icon should display under “Applications” in the results. Click the icon to start the tool.

07_starting_unity_tweak_using_dash

8. In the “Unity” section of the Unity Tweak Tool, click “Launcher.”

08_clicking_launcher

9. On the “Launcher” tab, click the “Auto-hide” switch so it reads “ON.” The Unity Launcher immediately hides. You can change the “Auto-hide animation,” “Reveal location,” and “Reveal sensitivity” as well.

09_turning_auto_hide_on

10. To start Cairo-Dock, move your mouse to the left side of the screen (or top left corner, depending on your settings) to show the Unity Launcher. Then, click the Cairo-Dock icon on the launcher.

10_running_cairo_dock

The Cairo-Dock displays at the bottom of the screen!

11_cairo_dock_visible_unity_hidden

If you want Cairo-Dock to display automatically when you log in, right-click anywhere on the dock and move your mouse over “Cairo-Dock.” Then, select “Launch Cairo-Dock on startup” from the sub-menu that displays.

12_selecting_launch_cairo_dock_on_startup

This method of switching to a dock-style launcher gives you the best of both worlds. You can have a dock at the bottom of the screen and still access the Unity Launcher by hovering your mouse over the left side of the screen.

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