[Latte Dock] The end of an era (designing a Latte-Dock free alternative dr460nized setup)

Release number 2 of my custom Sweet Plasma Style.


  • Dash to panel "Latte-style" tasks indicators
  • Multiple windows tasks indicators

Still need to play around a bit but after trying a bunch of things I end up on the SVG object I want to modify.
Also still looking for zoom on mouse hover or at least a much more visible action on the launcher when hovering mouse. Matter of time before I find it. Like I said fortunately I don't require a lot of features out of a dock, they are all there in the picture above, just not yet exactly like I prefer. :slight_smile:

For those who want to play with this, there is some documentation here Theme details | Developer
It's more than just the panel but it's a start. If you are good with SVGs (I'm learning from 0!) you will certainly find yourself at home.

I will migrate this style to my main machine and start daily drive it, see what comes up with experience. Time to slowly slide you away, Latte, I've had awesome moments with you!


So I finally had more time to play around with this.

Unfortunately, it seems like the panel show/hide delay can't be modified now, see 267277 – configurable delay for autohide/show of panels for reference. Hopefully, it'll gain traction, now that we need it :slight_smile:

Copying the layout of a screen can't be done either, see 446654 – Feature Request: mirror a panel on all monitors - therefore it needs to be set up manually. Tedious work :face_with_peeking_eye:

@FGD how did you get the top panel to become transparent? I tried the mentioned floating option, however, this doesn't really have any influence on whether it becomes transparent (just slightly less opaque).

I have a new thing to test, this time it's not a preset rather than the appletsrc file directly. I couldn't get the preset to work properly, I'm assuming that's due to additional scripting being needed.

This file can be put into ~/.config/, the current one should be backed up so it can be restored if needed. Then relog to actually make use of the new layout. :slight_smile:
I'm not sure how Plasma panels themselves handle multi-monitor setups, so please provide some feedback about how it displays on your device. thank you very much! :smiling_face:


I'm happy you ask! I'm unhappy of the answer I will give you. lolll

Bare with me a bit, it's not a 2-word response. I have been spending couple of hours per day in the last week setting up my layout. There is quite some good potential with Plasma Panel, can't wait for all the nice features to be added. But in terms of looks it's very configurable already.

When I provided the above screenshots I was testing with the wrong wallpaper type! I thought I had full transparency, but when I implemented in my main machine, which uses a different wallpaper, I realized the Panel/Dock was blurred.

I did find how to fully make it look like transparent glass.

I learned the panel behaves like all KWin Windows, therefore if you disable Blur Window Effect it will also disable it on all other windows (including Conky), which destroys Garuda's Plasma Theme look. Playing around with Kvantum helped a lot but I was not happy still.

I found out a widget


  • You add this widget in EACH panel/dock you use.
  • You go in EDIT MODE
  • You toggle the slider
    Immediately the panel within which the widget is will turn "see through glass".

So far works very well, it gets hidden when you exit EDIT MODE and it activates automatically when you login Plasma, with a 1-2sec delay or so.

I admit it's a hack! But it works and I personally could live with it.
If I were a developer I would certainly read that widget code and try to implement it using a different method than a widget, if it's possible.

That's how I (or a widget) did it. Sorry it's not a clean way of doing it. :frowning:

Still pursuing on configuring a nice look, getting better every day.

QUESTION for people:
Has anyone been able to find how to use a different action when the pointer hovers the launcher icon of a closed application in the Dock (icon tasks)? By default it just glows the icon slightly, I have tried various Plasma Themes and they all use that action. I want to change that for a square being overlayed on the launcher icon, like I have in Latte.


Clocked another 5-6h or work on this. Pretty close to what I want, a few colors I need to adjust to make it more consistent for the theme but you gotta admit those colors are already quite consistent with Sweetified theme. :slight_smile: Check out that violet border on the Window Preview. :smiley:

The blue also fits super well with Sweet colors, I think that color is underutilized by the Scheme (it's not at all part of it).

I need to master SVG edition, as some colors change in the SVG but don't in the dock. I envy SGS who knows everything!

My personal comments on Plasma Panel as a Latte-Dock replacement:

  • Very customizable in terms of looks.
  • Quick to launch on logon, a lot quicker than Latte.
  • Icon Tasks in dock don't scale pixel-by-pixel like in Latte, they scale by steps so you have to make a compromise in size.
  • When using Panel Transparency widget, the panel (top) does not become opaque when a window touches it (due to the nature of forcing transparency, DOH! loll).
  • Could not find how to zoom icons on mouse hover (could live without for me IF I fix the next one).
  • Could not find how to change the icon action on mouse hover (instead of the native useless slight glow).
  • Not as mature as Latte but hey let's give it some time to evolve and gain features + fix bugs.

Still, I'm keeping it for now, until I hit a wall, if ever... TBG will love me now that I have ditched Latte. :rofl:


My knowledge only extends as far as it is supported by Whoogle. :grin:

I made it easy for myself, I like it more in i3wm style anyway. Only one bottom bar :slight_smile:


Well here's one other limitation of Plasma Panel. Between you and I, I disagree with Nicco's respond on 462222 – Plasma panel Icons-Only Task Manager widget resizes by a huge number of px at a time (kde.org) (I logged that bug which is not one).

But Plasma Panel and Latte-Dock are not built the same, so that may be the real reason. Still, it's a limitation and I personaly have to make a compromise about it. Ah well.... Who said there are no equivalent to Latte-Dock? lolll :smiley: Post #1! :smiley:

Good news in that Nicco opens the door a little bit, if someone finds how Latte scales the icons without blurryness, he will try to see if it can be implemented. I obviously don't have the required skills to analyze that, but I will anyway!

BTW, Plasma Panel crashes a couple of times per 6h of usage, both in real machine and VM. Couldn't grab any logging yet, but one day I'll get there. Latte-Dock is crashing sometimes, but maybe just 2-3 times per 30-36h of work. Fortunately, Plasma panel automatically restarts, as quick as Latte does, when it crashes. It crashes the entire plasmashell, of course.


I just initiated my 1st MR ever!

Plasma Panel will be getting a new feature, look-and-feel related. Because of me, a new element will be added in the SVG and I guess the KDE documentation will be changed too. lol
It felt great to get this MR approved, so that's how linux developers feel 24h a day.... :rofl:

The feature is not a big contribution but at least my efforts paid off on something.
Hopefully this enhancement could be of some use for the potentially future latte-free Garuda Panel.

Feature Request


Now that's a bummer but something I expected personally. So we will have to live with non-transparency, which is fine I guess. The problem I see with using the widget is that it could break as well.

That actually looks pretty cool. It was also done using SVGs, I assume?

Yup! And more stable as well hehe.

This one looks crowded as hell to me :stuck_out_tongue: But everyone has their own taste :slight_smile:

I have not experienced any crashes (yet) luckily. I'll have to monitor this, will keep you updated if it happens here :slight_smile:

This is pretty amazing, thanks for taking it that far! :hugs: Looks like it would come in very handy indeed. Once it's merged, I'll be able to try it out thanks to our kde-git packages :slight_smile:

There is another sad news that might concern us.. the window buttons applet broke a few days on kde-git too. Already opened an issue at @psifidotos repo, though I'm unsure whether this will see an actual fix.. just hoping it won't be unmaintained like Latte dock.

For now, I just removed the applet from my testing setup, even though it is very annoying to not be able to close windows easily when maximized.

@FGD did you have any success trying to provide a preset / share the settings you made to Plasma panels? While a few settings are retained in plasma-org.kde.plasma.desktop-appletsrc, the bottom dock never has it settings saved when trying to import them in a new session. The same goes for a few other applets, with Latte, this was quite a lot easier.

Is there anyone experienced with KDE look&feel presets? Especially this Plasma/How to create a Unity-like look and feel theme using Plasma’s Desktop Scripting API - KDE UserBase Wiki :eyes:

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I only see the taskbar when I need it, and spreading the things I need over two lines just consumes unnecessary desktop space (14" monitor).
Here I have it set up the way I did with Sway or i3wm, 8-10 virtual double windows.
Each program, I use, has its own window.
Workflow goes before beauty here for me.
Perfect :slight_smile: :grin:

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I believe I did!! You are probably missing to carry plasmashellrc.
I found out while looking at files on my machine (no Whoogle help here) that plasmashellrc contains geometry info about the dock.

[PlasmaViews][Panel 2][Defaults]

[PlasmaViews][Panel 2][Horizontal1600]

[PlasmaViews][Panel 3]

[PlasmaViews][Panel 3][Defaults]

[PlasmaViews][Panel 3][Horizontal3840]

[PlasmaViews][Panel 5]

[PlasmaViews][Panel 5][Defaults]

[PlasmaViews][Panel 5][Vertical2160]

[PlasmaViews][Panel 9][Defaults]

[PlasmaViews][Panel 9][Horizontal3840]

But it does not hold its location on the screen! I think that's in plasma-org.kde.plasma.desktop-appletsrc.

Sounds inconsistent to me but there could be a reason for that.

I just tested it again and it worked. I still need to test it from a super fresh install but the thing is, all the applets you install AFTER the fresh Garuda install will not be there if you migrate your config files without installing those applets first. Maybe there's a trick but it didn't work on that for me.

In the end both panel and dock placement, geometry, colors, etc. all work by migrating those 2 files, providing I have all the required applets already installed.

EDIT: Tested on a fresh install by migrating JUST those 2 files and it worked. Of course many applets are not there, some launchers don't have an icon cuz the application is not installed, etc., but configuration-wise the migration worked.
I was also able to revert back to std Latte by copying back those 2 original files.

Since Garuda is released with a perfect wallpaper that doesn't care between full transparent and blur, I also don't see an issue here. Just something to remember when users will post questions.

Yes, precisely why I said it's a hack. I will deal with it once it breaks in my face. loll

Yes I played a lot with the SVGs. I kept only the ones I modified from various other themes and I edited the Metadata.desktop to make my custom theme inherit Sweet theme. So I only carry my own modified SVGs and, most of all, any update of SWEET theme will not break my theme. :slight_smile:
I called my theme "Sweetified Dock". Don't ask how I got the idea. :smiley:

Tnx for quoting that sentence above, you made me realize I made a typo on the word "vilet". Should be "viOlet". lol I'll open a bug to fix this.

Ok that is very interesting! Since I constructed all my panels based on the same foundation, maybe I have some mistakes in my configuration.

It would be my honor if Garuda ISOs would use it by default. :smiley:

Why would we have it easy anyway? :smiley:


I don't really have anything to contribute here as I only use a very basic single KDE panel. My only comment would be, if this change looks inevitable, I think it would be better to announce this change sooner, rather than later.

Better to give users the heads up with a fair bit of advance notice IMO.


Can't edit my post.

@dr460nf1r3 one other thing to take into account: it seems the panels don't adjust based on screen resolution. I just migrated from my 4K monitor config to a smaller resolution and the panel/dock are taking a lot of space on the screen and are too big.

Oh, I didn't have a look at this one it's probably that! Thanks :slight_smile: I'll definitely have a look at that, it should work.

Hehehehe :grin:

One thing I did experience while setting up the dock was a glitchy position of the icons, which I had to restart Plasmashell in order to fix it.

Definitely seems like an awesome option :blush:

That's exactly what this thread is meant for. We can't stop it, therefore it's better to search the solution before it occurs :slight_smile:

Oof, that might be bad depending on the screen size. Maybe something the js script for global themes is able to do?


That did not occur to me though. Unless you mean when you are adding a new launcher by dragging it in the dock and positioning it carefully between 2 other icons it does not drop your launcher where you aimed for?
That happens to me every single time. But it's not a big deal, so you probably are referring to something else.

I'd suggest you try it on your end first and see if you get the same result. You can start from small rez and migrate to higher rez or the other way around. But I'm pretty sure you'll hit the same problem and the reason for this is we are outright overwriting 2 files manually (plasmashellrc and plasma*appletsrc). Within those files are hard numeric values of position, geometry, etc., no variables there. There's no process involved to automatically adjust those numbers based on your screen rez. :frowning:

Makes sense, but hopefully there's a fix that.

Yes it's me again. I take this Latte-dock replacement very seriously!

I am pushing a bit further and opened up a feature request for full transparency.


Got a response that actually the feature exists!!!!! :smiley:

@dr460nf1r3 you just need to add the following to metadata.desktop


What else they got in their warehouse that can be used in metadata.desktop? Rhetoric question, for the most part.


Oh thats some great news! This basically means we need to ship a modified version of the Sweet theme however, which isn't a problem. Thanks again for doing the research :slight_smile:

I built an iso with sticking dock & top bar settings by adding the plasmashellrc file now. The wallpaper didn't stick for some reason however, which is likely caused by me using another monitor setup to create the presets.


Yes, up to 80-90%. :frowning:
I performed more tests last night and found out everything that "comes out of the panel" has also lost Blur.

That means when you click on Application Launcher, System Tray config drop-down window or expand/collapse chevron, probably the widgets IN the panel that drop-down a window like Calendar, Weather, etc., damn even the notify-send message box lost Blur. But not the windows!

I will check how I can tweak a little kvantum to find a compromise, BUT it's not that big of a deal, honestly, as those small drop-down windows are much less used than applications and always take a lot less screen space than normal windows. Also they are mostly always transitory, for a quick open and then close.

Does Garuda uses its own kvantum theme or it's straight from someone else somewhere?

Good news is when a window is touching the panel (including maximized!), it blurs, just like Latte does. (however it doesn't work with yakuake, the panel does not blur, but there are many issues with yakuake blurring Latte anyway so I think I can let this one pass. lolll :smiley: ) If I get too picky it's not going to work.)

In the end you're the boss so maybe you'll find a panel with blur gives a better look overall than a fully translucent panel wtih those small drop-downs tranlucent. I can post screenshots if you want to see the difference.

I will install your ISO in about 9h from writing this. :slight_smile:

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Plz allow me to provide some comments. I just installed your secret ISO (loll).

  • Are the following findings wanted/correct?
      • The dock is set to auto-hide. I couldn't see any dock, didn't see it popping at anytime during ISO test and installation. I had to either unintentionally move my mouse over the bottom center to be surprised by a dock (didn't do that) or take a guess and intentionally move my mouse over the bottom center (did that). Then the dock revealed itself. My guess is a newbie will only find the dock by mistake, which may not really be what you are looking for.
      • Both the top bar and bottom dock are somewhat small with regards to the screen resolution. Much smaller than with Latte. Maybe this is what you are looking for, though.
      • Widget User Switcher is not installed in the top bar. To me it always was intuitive to use when I wanted to restart or shutdown, the first times I tried Garuda. Since a right-click in the wallpaper is not configured by default to display Leave function, the only way out from a gui point of view is with the Launcher. Again maybe that's what you aim for. I find it less convenient, especially for newbies. Hey!!! Hold on there, what the...? User Switcher is not listed anymore when you try to download new widgets. Darn it, another feature lost? There is one called USwitcher but it crashes when I click on it after dragging in the top bar. So I guess yes that was intentional to not have User Switcher in there loll
      • You modified Sweet theme from /usr/share in order to have the dock and top bar? Cuz there is no local theme in ~/.local/share. Or maybe you just took the Panel theme that comes standard from Sweet and applied your modified config files in ~/.config?
      • Sweetified Plasma Global Theme is gone, probably intentional with Latte gone.
      • It's a completely different look without Ghost wallpaper. :smiley: Short term issue. lol

That's it for me. :slight_smile:

As for the new commit pushed today for launcher-hover element, I do have kde-git as well now so I will try it soon. :slight_smile: VERY surprised at how stable kde-git is...


Yup, that's what I also noticed when testing the key. Sadly that kinda breaks the setup for me personally :stuck_out_tongue:

It uses the original Sweet Kvantum theme, though we can easily ship an own version if you come up with some tweaks :slight_smile:

Sure, show them! This way other people can also give their opinions on how it looks for them :slight_smile:

That was intentional, though I just tried the "windows go above" option which works much better than "auto-hide". Especially when testing the iso, it was kind of janky to unhide the dock.

What resolution is your screen? I'm having a full HD screen, which provides an equally sized top bar for me.

That's not intended and should be re-added. I share your opinion, that it is kinda intuitive, so it has to stay :smiley:

It is using the default Sweet KDE/Kvantum theme, so they are located in /usr/share/ rather than ~/.local/share :slight_smile:

Generally, it is very stable for me too. Apart from occasional issues that need a package rebuild, there has been little hiccups. Especially since @alexjp maintains it :slight_smile:


To fix the below loss of Blur, Kvantum does not do a thing. The setting KDE dev gave me seems to override everything else, including Kvantum.
People can see the shots here and comment about how it looks:


At the moment if I push KDE I don't think it'll work. But in a couple of months I'll open a feature request stating that it affects ALL plasma theme and not just the panel. But I know this is designed that way since the setting is in metadata.desktop of the theme! I will just ask again to make one only for the panel, but for now I'll wait.

Precisely. Yes I use "windows go above", works superb.

Phew!! Thank god! :smiley: Not sure where you're getting that widget from but it's nice to know it will be back. :smiley:

Ok that explains the darker tint on the dock and somewhat the panel as well but it's more visible on the dock since it's thicker. Is it intentional to keep panel-background.svg that dark (unmodified Sweet theme) or you plan on tweaking the color later on?
I would see it either lighter or a different color, in the violet/pink area for example, still Sweet theme-a-like but something lighter.

Here's a shot with Ghost:

I find the darker color does not blend that easily with Ghost, maybe cuz I'm used to the transparent Latte the ISOs always ship with. Can others comment, plz?

Thank you Alex!!

Now this... :smiley: This took some time to gather data and explain everything.
I don't think Plasma Panel works like Latte here. Let's start with Latte as a benchmark. Here I am changing rez without changing monitor size (yes in a VM but same applies on metal I've tried months ago). You can see the rez in the System Settings' window in the middle:

See how intelligently Latte adjusts its sizes? The Dock is pretty obvious it remains constant in size to what the eyes see, not to the rez or monitor size.

And then Plasma Panel (the first shot is your own setup's size):

See how bigger and smaller both the dock and top bar get. Here too the dock is the one that seems the most obvious.

My rez is 4k, so way up on 1920, but the shots above are from a VM which boots at a higher rez than your full HD, so the panel looks smaller.

And that is due, I'm pretty sure, to what I pointed out a couple posts back: plasmashellrc uses pixels to define the geometry and sizes. And those numbers don't change when you change rez. Take a look at your own plasmashellrc file after I have played with a couple of rez:

[PlasmaViews][Panel 119][Defaults]

[PlasmaViews][Panel 119][Horizontal1920]

[PlasmaViews][Panel 119][Horizontal2599]

[PlasmaViews][Panel 119][Horizontal2607]

[PlasmaViews][Panel 119][Horizontal2608]

[PlasmaViews][Panel 119][Horizontal3840]

Here's mine in comparison:

[PlasmaViews][Panel 5][Defaults]

[PlasmaViews][Panel 5][Vertical2160]

[PlasmaViews][Panel 9][Defaults]

[PlasmaViews][Panel 9][Horizontal3840]

Panel 8 is my dock (it's Vertical on my machine) and Panel 9 is the top bar.
I need 106px on the dock for what you show 60 in full HD. I compared your icons on dock with mines and as a real size to what the eyes see they are very very similar, so taking into account I use more spacing between launchers let's say the dock needs about 50-66% more pixels thickness in 4K than in Full HD.

I think KDE associates the user's selected thickness with the rez it was at when the user changed the thickness. It probably means if I change the thickness in one of those rez and then change rez, the dock would follow, for example:

[PlasmaViews][Panel 5][Vertical2160]


[PlasmaViews][Panel 5][Vertical1080]

Lemme try that live. Nope, what it does is also change the DEFAULT size section and applies whatever thickness you applied at whatever rez you are at, so by doing that it modified your Default=60. Strange.

In the end it means if the user doesn't change the thickness, the dock will grow or shrink based on the selected rez of the monitor and its thickness AND geometry will start at what you put in the ISO.

That being said, you gotta make sure those values are set low enough to it doesn't go "out of bounds" or something if anyone is using a super low rez...

[PlasmaViews][Panel 155][Defaults]

[PlasmaViews][Panel 155][Horizontal1920]

[PlasmaViews][Panel 183][Defaults]

[PlasmaViews][Panel 183][Horizontal1920]

You're probably ok with today's standards. Also maybe the panel won't break but will simply shrink to fit in the max value the rez is supporting, so probably no issue there.

End of Msg!
Oh boy, now that was a mouthful.... loll

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