Linux is all about variety, and the desktop is no different. If you don’t like the dock or panel that is provided with your desktop environment you can always switch it for a new one. Most even allow you to customize them to your preferences.
Many docks and panels can even use themes, you can choose from several of the available themes to achieve a completely new look. Every dock has similar functions, but the look, and the available options may be very different, some are actually quite complex.
Use Avant Window Navigator to manage your open windows, and launch your favorite applications. The Avant window Navigator or AWN is a fairly simple dock that offers many useful features and customization options. With Avant you can use plug-ins to extend the functionality or try themes for more style.
You can also drag and drop items inside your dock to rearrange them. Though this dock is very easy to use, it is still quite powerful. AWN is a great alternative to Docky or Cairo Dock.
This is probably the best dock available for the Linux desktop environment, since I have tried Cairo dock I have not turned back. Users will be amazed by the massive selection of features and options. Cairo dock also offers amazing effects and a highly customizable interface, this dock is truly unrivalled.
With several of the available plug-ins you can add system monitors, workspace switches, and menu applets to your dock. There is even a huge selection of themes for users to try, or you can customize your own theme.
Docky is another powerful dock that sometimes comes with the Gnome desktop environment. Docky also uses some wonderful effects, and themes to help you customize your dock to match your desktop. You will even receive notifications when items inside Docky need your attention.
New items can be dragged from your menu inside Docky, or you can drag and drop items inside your dock to rearrange them. There are a few docklets or plug-ins that you can add to your dock but the list is rather short. Either way this is a fantastic choice for users who want a simple but flexible dock.
The Gnome panel is a primary aspect of the Gnome desktop environment. The Gnome panel offers several customization options such as colorization and transparency. You can also have multiple docks running at the same time. Gnome even provides a vast number of applets that you can add to your panel, these include system monitors, clocks, drawers, and more.
This is the default panel that is included with the KDE Plasma desktop. The KDE Plasma panel is similar to the Gnome panel, its easy to use and very flexible. You can also add several of the KDE Plasma desktop widgets to your panel for convenient access. This panel also offers a variety of options to help you customize your panel to match your desktop.
Another lightweight task-bar that is also quite powerful. This panel has a system tray, task-bar, clock, and more. The Tint 2 panel is very customizable and offers some fantastic transparency options.
This is a very lightweight dock for the Xfce 4 desktop which is highly customizable. You can customize your dock with background images or transparency. The Xfce 4 panel also provides a convenient graphical user interface for customization.