Building a Dock in Linux Mint Cinnamon

One of the cool things about Linux Mint is that the Cinnamon desktop environment is built from CSS, and with a little custom code you can do some interesting things, like turn a panel — in Windows parlance, a taskbar — into a dock.

Like here!

Linux Mint screenshot showing A Charlie Brown Christmas wallpaper, taskbar top, and floating application dock at left

That dock at left? It’s CSS, and not very much CSS at that.

I’m using Orchis Teal as my base — this will work with any Cinnamon theme — and I added this to the theme’s cinnamon.css file:

/* Dock Left */

.panel-left {
margin-bottom: 32px;
background-color: rgba(48, 49, 48, 0); }

.panel-left .panelCenter {
background-color: rgba(14, 14, 14, 0.65);
background-blur: 3px;
border: 1px solid #00897b;
text-align: center;
border-radius: 8px;
padding-top: 6px;
padding-bottom: 6px;
padding-left: 0px;
margin-left: 8px; }

The first bit — .panel-left — makes the entire left panel transparent. We add some margin to the bottom of the panel to offset the panel I have at top. This will keep the dock centered.

The second bit — .panel-left .panelCenter — deals specifically with the dock. We definite a background color with transparency and blur, a border, rounded corners, some padding for inside the dock, and some margin to move the dock off the edge of the screen.

After you’ve saved the CSS, move all of your launchers and applets to the center section of the panel. (Until you restart Cinnamon, the original theme CSS will be active.) Then set the panel to Intelligently Hide in your panel settings, restart your Cinnamon session, and you’re done!

Well, almost.

I also run the following command in my terminal to make my dock wider than Cinnamon’s GUI will allow:

gsettings set org.cinnamon panels-height “[‘1:32’, ‘2:70’]”

Result? Something that looks pretty cool and doesn’t require the installation of anything new.

You can do a lot with CSS.

Published by Allyn Gibson

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *