Configure Plank

Plank is a dock similar to what Apple uses on iMac machines which debuted back in 2009. My favorite dock is called Plank which is why we selected that during the install.

After booting Arco Linux, the Plank dock is already running but after we install, it will not run. So first, let’s fix that so that plank runs every time we boot our computer. This setting is done in the Settings Manager which you can find in the menu or by clicking the small settings icon right next to the search panel. Just hover your mouse cursor over the four choices and when you read Settings Manager, click the little icon to open it.

Settings Manager

After Settings Manager opens, go down to the System section and find Session and Startup.
That windows has four tabs towards the top and you need to select the second one called Application Autostart.

Read the disclaimer at the top and then look at all of the applications that are running on your system. If you don’t use Bluetooth, the clip board or a printer, then you can uncheck those options. If you rather use your own wallpapers instead of letting Variety chose for you, then you can uncheck Variety as well.

Configure Plank to start up automatically

Towards the bottom, there is an +Add button. Click it and a small window will open with the title “Add application”. Fill in the following data:

Name: Dock
Description: leave blank
Command: plank
Trigger (leave as is “on login”)

Press OK to close the window.

Start Plank

PlankTo start plank, simply type “plank &” into the terminal.
This will cause plank to display on the left edge of your monitor. If you like where it is, then all that’s left to do is remove the icons which are showing right now and replace them with the ones you actual want as shown in the image below.

plank dock icons final arrangement

How to remove existing or unwanted icons from Plank

To remove an existing icon, right-click and then uncheck the “Keep in Dock” option. The icon will instantly disappear.

How to add icons to Plank

The easiest way to add your own software collection to Plank is opening the program from the main menu. Once it runs, hover your mouse over the icon which will temporarily show up in the dock. Right-click and select “Keep in Dock” and you are all set.

How to configure Plank

Plank comes with themes and to bring up the preferences window, hold down the ctrl key and right-click over the dock. A small pop-up windows will give you a handful of selection. Select Preferences and stay in the default “Appearance” tab. The options which you should change are:

  • Theme
    Set the theme to transparent or anything else you like
  • Position
    If you want the iMac look which I’ll cover shortly, then set the position to bottom
  • Icon Size
    Depending on your monitor, you might want to enlarge the icons if you have a high-resolution display. My main monitor has an ultrawide 21:9 1440p display and my icon size is set to 44.
  • Icon Zoom
    Click the flip switch to turn on icon zoom. Hover over the icons to see the effect. Nice!
    I’ve set the size from 150 to 180. Again, pick what looks best to you.

From this point on, Plank should run every time you start your computer.

Security alert! If you work on valuable data, the don’t let your computer run when you are not in front of it. Back in the late 90’s, we used to brag about 3 or more months uptime which were achievable back then when running Linux. Windows would crash often but Linux did not.
Today, the internet can no longer be trusted regardless of what operating system you use. When I am not working on a computer, I turn it off. My graphics workstation takes about 15 seconds from boot to login. I can live with that.

One of my computers is not connected to the internet at all.

With plank configured, we need to turn our attention to the panel which we’ll do in the next part

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