DockBarX panel in XFCE

DockBarX panel in XFCE
DockBarX panel

In this tutorial, I will show you how to install DockBarX panel in XFCE desktop and make basic configurations.

DockBarX is probably the best taskbar for the XFCE desktop. It is compact, lightweight, nice looking, very configurable, and has sufficient amount of functions. It helps to customize your XFCE desktop and make it more productive. In this post, I will show you how to install and use it in XFCE environment.


To install DockBarX, go to the GitHub repository where the app is stored. You can access it here. On the page, you will find the ppa repository and installation instructions for Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based distros.

DockBarX panel in XFCE
DockBarX panel in XFCE

The app is also available in the Arch User Repository. For any other distro, you need to make the manual installation. I will show you how to do the manual installation on Debian but it will be almost the same in other distributions.

First, you need to install the required dependencies and then run the installation script. For XFCE you also need to install the panel plugin, which is in a separate repository. Get it from here. Its installation also requires some dependencies.

Let’s download and install DockbarX and DockX packages. For that, click on the green Clone or download button in both repositories pages and select Download ZIP. After the download, extract the archives.

DockBarX panel in XFCE. Download ZIP
DockBarX panel in XFCE. Download ZIP

To install these packages, enter the DockBarX folder and click the right mouse button to open the terminal in it. Then simply run each of the listed commands.

First, install the dependencies:

sudo apt install zeitgeist python-wnck python-imaging python-keybinder python-xlib python-gconf

Second, run the installation script:

sudo ./ install

Third, try to launch the app by running the dockx command. Most likely, it will give you an error.

DockBarX panel in XFCE error
DockBarX panel in XFCE error

This is caused by zeitgest package. You need to reset zeitgest. Run the following commands one by one:

sudo zeitgeist-daemon --quit
rm -rvf ~/.local/share/zeitgeist/fts.index/
zeitgeist-daemon --replace

After these steps, dockx should start successfully.

Install panel

Now, go to the xfce-dockbarx-plugin folder and install it.

Again, first, install the required dependencies:

sudo apt install python-gconf valac libxfconf-0-2 libxfconf-0-dev xfce4-panel-dev

Then you need to configure the package:

./waf configure --prefix=/usr

It is important to use /usr prefix here. Otherwise, the plugin will not show up in the panel’s plugins.

Then build and install it:

./waf build
sudo ./waf install

Make sure that each of these two steps finishes successfully.

When the installation is complete, you can add dockbarx to the panel and remove the default windows bar. For that, click the right mouse button on the panel, select Panel — Panel Preferences — Items, add DockBarX, and remove default Window Buttons.

DockBarX panel in XFCE. Remove window button
DockBarX panel in XFCE. Remove window button

Here it is DockBarX in the XFCE desktop.

DockBarX panel in XFCE. Side menu
DockBarX panel in XFCE. Side menu


You may want to configure it a little. In the app menu, go to the app preferences and change whatever you want. For example, you can change the theme, deep window style, colors, and many other parameters. But do not change much if you don’t know for sure what the feature means. Do not forget to refresh the panel after any settings change.

DockBarX panel in XFCE. Configuration
DockBarX panel in XFCE. Configuration

Finally, you can pin your favorite applications to the panel.

DockBarX panel in XFCE. Pin app
DockBarX panel in XFCE. Pin app

Also, check out the menu of these applications. For example, you can start a new instance from within DockBarX, open recent files or change the launcher properties.

DockBarX panel in XFCE. App menu
DockBarX panel in XFCE. App menu

Final words

This manual installation of the DockBarX panel in XFCE is little tricky. But it is totally worth spending some tine. It provides a lot of advanced features not available in the default panel.

You can also tweak the XFCE theme and enable the drop-down terminal.

If you use Linux Mint or Cinnamon desktop, you can also install Icons-only taskbar, which is similar to DockBarX.

Average Linux User
Average Linux User I am the founder of the Average Linux User project, which is a hobby I work on at night. During the day I am a scientist who uses computers to analyze genetic data.


Eric Sebasta

Eric Sebasta

How do I remove this thing? It came on Zorin OS Linux Lite. I want the regular taskbar and it is not even an option. This takes more memory and I don't like it for a number of reasons. But I am afraid if I remove it… I have to way to see running processes windows in the panel.


Hi, I'm on Buster and am not able to install dockbarx. There are no python-{wnck,imaging} packages. I was asked to install python-pil. Also, I get error for missing module 'gconf' but there is no python-gconf package.


Thank you so much for this awesome tutorial! I am using MX Linux, which has XFCE as its Windows Manager, and I really miss some features that the KDE's navigation bar has, and this Dockbarx could suppress pretty much my necessities =D

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