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Cairo-Dock is a pretty, light and convenient interface to your desktop, able to replace advantageously your system panel! It features multi-docks, taskbar, launchers and a lot of useful applets. Applets can be detached from the dock to act as desktop widgets. Numerous ready-to-use themes are available in 1 click, and can be easily customized at your convenience. It can use hardware acceleration to be very fast and low on CPU.

Preview Other screenshots are available at

This project is split in 3 parts:

The Cairo-Dock-Session project aims to provide an easy way to install a session that is desktop agnostic and uses Cairo-Dock as a Shell (the main interface).


Please see our Wiki at for an excellent installation guide.

Tarballs of the sources are available at: and

A stable PPA is available here :

Need some help?

See our wiki!

You can find: how to launch the dock at startup, how to customise it, how to resolve some recurrent problems (black background, messages at startup, etc.), how to help us, who we are, etc. A useful tutorial is also available to help you customize your dock:

If you have other questions not solved on our wiki you can post them on our forum (in English or French):

Join the project

  • Want to HACK into the dock or write an APPLET? see the complete C API here:
  • You don't like C and still want to write an APPLET for the dock or CONTROL it from a script or the terminal? see its powerful DBus API here:
  • You have some IDEAS / PROPOSITIONS? You need some help to develop an applet? Feel free post a topic on our forum! We'll be happy to answer you!
  • You want to TRANSLATE Cairo-Dock in your language? Use the 'Translations' tab in Launchpad, it's very simple to use it and helpful for us!

Bug reports

You can report bugs in Launchpad under the 'Bugs' section. If possible:

  • Read our wiki specially the 'Recurring Problems' section which can help you to resolve some bugs like a black background, messages at startup, etc.
  • Please include also some information like your distribution, your achitecture (32/64bits), your Desktop Manager (Gnome, KDE, XFCE,...) your Window Manager (Compiz, Metacity, Kwin, etc.), if you use Cairo-Dock with or without OpenGL, with which theme, etc.
  • Include the method to reproduce the bug (which actions, which options activated)
  • Run the dock with the command cairo-dock -l debug > debug.txt reproduce the bug and join the content of debug.txt.
  • If it's a crash, please give us a backtrace of it with GDB. It's easy thanks to this wiki page.

Thank you for your help!


Plugins third-party of the Cairo-Dock project



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