I use Ubuntu as my primary operation system for quite some time now ((I think around 5 years.)) and among first apps I install on freshly formatted machine ((I did that a lot in the past but since upgrading my laptop with SSD and additional RAM 4 months ago I still don’t see the need to do it.)) is Plank. It’s an app launcher that you can customize (it’s look, alignment, behaviour).
I prefer it to default Unity launcher because Unity launcher isn’t really useful. Two reasons for that:
- it feels like so much extra work going in the left corner to find and open an app. Moving eyes up/down is way easier than left/right.
- I like app launcher to be hidden when windows are maximized and only to show up when hovering with mouse to the edge where it’s located. Yes, you can hide Unity launcher but sometimes you really need to push mouse against left edge to open it. And it’s still hidden if no app is maximized.
Plank can be installed with following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ricotz/docky sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install plank
I like that Plank starts automatically when I log in so I add it to Startup Applications. First couple of times I did this via app, but after discovering a bug that logged me out instead of shutting the computer down when clicking “Shut down…”, I decided to do this manually by creating/opening a file in
~/.config/autostart/plank.desktop and filling it with the following content:
[Desktop Entry] Type=Application Exec=plank Hidden=false NoDisplay=false Name[en_US]=plank Name=plank Comment[en_US]=plank Comment=plank X-GNOME-Autostart-Delay=2 X-GNOME-Autostart-enabled=true
Last two entries are a big deal if you don’t want this bug happening to you too.