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Cairo-dock is a highly customizable dock written in C.


Cairo-dock and Cairo-dock plugins are available from the AUR and can be installed using yaourt or makepkg.

Yaourt installation

To install the core packages:

$ yaourt -S cairo-dock 

The core packages provides only the strict minimum to run cairo-dock. To use applets, animations, views, effects and dialogs you will also need the plugin packages:

$ yaourt -S cairo-dock-plug-ins

To install the latest BZR snapshot packages:

Warning: These packages are unstable and should be used at own risk
$ yaourt -S cairo-dock-bzr cairo-dock-plugins-bzr 


Running the dock

Run as default:

$ cairo-dock &

This will generate a startup message that will ask you to choose a backend for the current session (OpenGL or Cairo). There is an option to remember the choice and if not choosing to remember the choice, a startup message will be generated each time cairo-dock is run without backend options. To supress the startup message, you can specify which backend to use when running cairo-dock by specifying it as an option.

Run with OpenGL backend

$ cairo-dock -o &

Run with Cairo backend

$ cairo-dock -c &
Tip: All using ATI graphics cards should use this option. Some cards/drivers does not support OpenGL, which may prevent cairo-dock from running correctly.

Running the dock at startup

This depends on which DE or WM that is being used.


Run cairo-dock and right-click the dock > Cairo-Dock > Launch Cairo-Dock on startup. The settings will be stored in Template:Filename and sourced the next time you login.


Add the following to Template:Filename.

cairo-dock &

Configuring the dock

To configure the dock, right-click the dock > Cairo-Dock > Configure


Two cairo-dock instances running

This is most likely a result of sessions being saved and being runned at next login.


If you are starting the cairo-dock from Template:Filename - remove autostart files generated by cario-dock:

$ rm ~/.config/autostart/cairo-dock*

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