If you’re a dedicated Dash to Dock user I’ve some good news: GNOME 40 support is in the works, and in this post I show you how it’s looking!

First some background. While I dig the look of GNOME 40 and its new horizontal paradigm the ‘dock’ is tucked away on the overview screen by default.

This isn’t new for GNOME Shell, of course. The dash (the proper name for the favourites bar) has been situated on the left-hand side of the Activities screen since …Well, since GNOME 3 began!

And in GNOME 40 the dash now sits along the bottom by default which is a change many are thrilled to see — however, as mentioned, it only appears in the Activities screen, as this gif shows:

GNOME 40 workspaces gif
GNOME 40 Dash is hidden by default

From what I know GNOME Shell isn’t designed specifically around the concept of ‘minimising’ apps. In Fedora, for instance, many apps only have one window button: close. The idea is that, instead of minimising an app to the Dash you switch to a different workspace.

Ubuntu uses an omni-present desktop dock. This is what I’m used to (and like being used to) as it makes it easier to switch between running apps (especially with minimise on click enabled, which I almost always put on my list of ‘things to do after installing Ubuntu’ 😉).

And I’m not on my own in that. GNOME Shell extensions like Dash to Dock and Dash to Panel are hugely popular add-ons with a diverse set of users. Both options bring the dash to the fore on the desktop.

The only problem? The current version of Dash to Dock on the extensions.gnome.org (EGO) website doesn’t work in GNOME 40. That’s not a surprise; there are a few pretty meaty changes in the GNOME stack sandwich that code needs to adapt to.

So I am super pleased to know that work is now underway to get things up and running on GNOME 40.

Dash to Dock in GNOME 40

Screenshot of Dash to Dock in GNOME 40
Dash to Dock in GNOME 40

First things first: things are in a formative state.

While Dash to Dock’s basic functionality is working (and working relatively well) some of the extension’s fancier flourishes (like unread counts, transparency, full-length panel, etc) either don’t work at all, don’t work properly, or only work intermittently.

But that it works at all will reassure many!

Some work will need to be done to make the dock both look and work better in various positions and modes, including the vertical position Ubuntu may prefer:

GNOME 40 dash to dock vertical dock
Vertical mode has some UI bugs, but works

And some though will need to go into the ‘app launcher’ icon as it now takes two clicks to get to the grid of app shortcuts (the first click launches overview/workspace switcher, and the second click brings up the app grid. Clicking again returns to the workspace switcher. Clicking again… opens the app grid.

The only way to exit the overview or app launcher is by selecting a workspace (or hitting the Esc key). There’s a malformed drop shadow on the workspace switcher when the dock is placed at the bottom, as you can see in this screenshot:

GNOME 40 dash to dock bug
Errant drop shadow

But progress starts somewhere, right?

Code for the ‘initial port’ is up on Github, developed by Evan Walsh. What a champ. You can download, unpack, and install Evan’s MR for yourself (it’s what I did). Just keep in mind this isn’t stable and you don’t get any auto updates.

Let me know what you think down in the comments!

h/t OstroLk

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