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Quick update: The DockBarX Xfce4 Panel plugin was updated to version 0.4.1 recently, bringing a pretty important new feature: panel blending.

DockBarX Xfce

DockBarX is an application launcher / switcher which is available as a stand-alone dock as well as a Xfce4 Panel (a while back it was also available as a GNOME Panel and MATE Panel applet but those no longer work).

By enabling the new "Blend with panel" option available with the latest Xfce4 DockBarX Plugin, the applet will try to automatically set its background color to the panel background color. The applet should do this automatically not only when adding it to the panel but also when changing the theme or manually changing the panel background color.

For those who haven't tried Xfce4 DockBarX Plugin before, here are a couple of things you should be aware of if you plan on trying out this applet:
  • after adding the applet to the panel, its configuration dialog shows up - if you don't click "Apply", the applet won't show up on your panel;
  • the DockBarX Xfce4 Panel plugin preferences only contains Xfce-specific options. To change the applet theme and various other options, launch "DockBarX Preference" from the menu.

Install Xfce4 DockBarX Plugin in Ubuntu or Linux Mint

The latest Xfce4 DockBarX Plugin 0.4.1 is available in the main DockBarX PPA for Ubuntu 14.04 and newer (Linux Mint 17 and newer). To add the PPA and install the applet, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:dockbar-main/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install --install-recommends xfce4-dockbarx-plugin
(I added "--install-recommends" to the command above because recommended packages aren't installed by default in Linux Mint as far as I know and and you may need some of those packages for various extra features. Remove that part if you only want the basic functionality)

There's also an extra DockBarX themes packages you can install using the following command:
sudo apt-get install dockbarx-themes-extra

Arch Linux users can install the Xfce4 DockBarX Plugin via AUR (though it wasn't updated to the latest version yet).

For other Linux distributions, grab the applet from GitHub (you'll also need DockBarX).