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cairo-dock - A dock to launch your programs easily.


cairo-dock [options]


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 downloadable in 1 click, and can be easily customized at
your convenience.
It can use hardware acceleration (OpenGL) to be very fast and low on CPU.

It's recommended to install the PLUG-INS package ( cairo-dock-plug-ins ) to have access to
more views, dialogues and many plug-ins and applets.

Some screenshots are available :

Development site:


You can launch Cairo-Dock with several options :
(Note : you can use these options in one block. For example : cairo-dock -oia )

-c, --cairo
Force Cairo backend. Use this option if you have issue with the OpenGL mode.

-o, --opengl
Force OpenGL backend. Cairo-Dock with OpenGL/Hardware acceleration.

-O, --indirect-opengl
Use OpenGL backend with indirect rendering. There are very few case where this
option should be used.

-A, --ask-backend
Ask again on startup which backend to use.

-l, --log [option]
Log verbosity (options : debug, message, warning, critical, error - default is
For example : cairo-dock -l debug

-F, --colors
Force to display some output messages with colors even if these messages are not
displayed into a tty.

-w, --wait
Wait for N seconds before starting. This is useful if you notice some problems when
the dock starts with the session.

-a, --keep-above
Force to keep the dock above other windows.

-s, --no-sticky
Don't make the dock appear on all desktops.

-e, --env
Force the dock to consider this environment (gnome, xfce, etc.) - it may crash the
dock if not set properly.

-d, --dir
Force the dock to load the configuration in this directory (default is

-m, --maintenance
Allow to edit the config before the dock is started and show the config panel on

-x, --exclude
Exclude a given plug-in from activating (it is still loaded though).

-f, --safe-mode
Don't load any plug-ins and show the theme manager on startup.

-W, --metacity-workaround
Work around some bugs in Metacity Window-Manager (invisible dialogs or sub-docks)

-M, --modules-dir
Ask the dock to load additional modules contained in this directory (though it is
unsafe for your dock to load unofficial modules).

-T, --testing
For debugging purpose only. The crash manager will not be started to hunt down the

-E, --easter-eggs
For debugging purpose only. Some hidden and still unstable options will be

-S, --server
Address of a server containing additional themes. This will overwrite the default
server address.

-k, --locked
Lock the dock so that any modification is impossible for users.


Some other options with an output in the terminal :

-v, --version
Print version and quit.

-h, --help
Show the help and quit.

-C, --capuccino
Cairo-Dock makes anything, including coffee !

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