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Cairo Dock (Glx Dock) is a launcher / task manager that comes with a huge list of applets and configuration options.

cairo dock

It can be used with any desktop environment / shell, so it works with GNOME Shell, Unity, Xfce, KDE and so on. There's also a stand-alone Cairo Dock session - select "Cairo Dock" from the login menu to use it.

Among the applets included by default with Cairo Dock are: applications menu, appindicators, keyboard indicator, Ubuntu Messaging Menu, session control, mail, quick file browser, notification area, screen luminosity, screenshot, sound control, stacks, system monitor, desktop switcher, terminal, weather, weblets and more.

cairo dock
Multiple Cairo Dock instances (left, bottom) in GNOME Shell

Cairo Dock 3.2 has been released recently and it includes many changes:
  • improved multi-screen support: you can now choose the screen for each dock (or all screens), support for desktop names, more;
  • new applets: Screenshot and Indicator-Generic (a plugin to display all the available Ubuntu indicators into the dock; you can define a blacklist if you don't want some indicators to show up);
  • new Sound Effects plugin which adds sounds to some actions on the icons;
  • better GNOME Shell support (for instance, all windows with the same class are displayed);
  • GDM user switching support;
  • the note taking applet can now work without Tomboy or Gnote;
  • Systemd support (Arch Linux, Fedora, etc.) for session management;
  • icons and overlays should be less blurry;
  • improved most plugins/applets: Application Menu, Clock, Gvfs integration (you can now mount encrypted volumes that require a password, various fixes), Keyboard Indicator, etc.;
  • more!

For the official release notes, see THIS page.

If you want to see Cairo Dock in action before installing it, here's a video with version 3.1 (so it's not the latest Cairo Dock 3.2, but you should still get an idea on most of its features):

(direct video link)

Install Cairo Dock

Ubuntu users can install the latest stable Cairo Dock using the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:cairo-dock-team/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cairo-dock cairo-dock-plug-ins

Debian users can install the latest Cairo Dock from the official Cairo Dock Debian repository - installation instructions HERE.

In Arch Linux, Cairo Dock can be installed via AUR.

For other Linux distributions you can grab the Cairo Dock source from Launchpad.

seen on lffl.org