How to Center App Icons in Left Panel in Ubuntu 24.04

The left dock in Ubuntu (since 23.10) introduced new option to center app icons while keeping in panel mode. Here I’m going to show you how to enable it.

If you just want to shorten the left panel (or bottom if moved to), then just go “Settings -> Ubuntu Desktop” and turn off the ‘Panel mode‘ option.

Shorten the Ubuntu Dock (left panel)

However, like the top feature image shows you, there’s also option to center app icons, while keeping the panel extended to screen edge. And, by moving the ‘Show Apps’ (the 9 dots) icon, you can finally get 4 panel layouts in either left or bottom edge.

Option 1: Single command to center app icons

For those who are familiar with Linux command, this thing can be done by running a single command in terminal.

To do so, first press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal. When it opens, run command:

gsettings set always-center-icons true

You may also move the ‘Show Apps’ (the 9 dots) icon to the top by running command:

gsettings set show-apps-at-top true

Or, center the ‘Show Apps’ (the 9 dots) icon by running command:

gsettings set show-apps-always-in-the-edge false

Option 2: Use Extension Manager

For a graphical configuration tool, you may use either “Extension Manager” or “Gnome Extensions” to do the job.

First, install either tool from App Store.

Or, press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal. And, run command to install the tool:

sudo apt install gnome-shell-extension-manager

Once installed, click on top-left button to open overview, search and launch “Extension Manager”.

When the tool opens, click on the gear icon for “Ubuntu Dock” extension to open its settings page.

Finally, enable ‘Place icons to the center‘ option in the first tab to center app icons.

And, go to the second tab for changing the ‘Show Apps’ (9 dots) icon position via: ‘Move at the beginning of the dock’ and ‘Put Show Applications in a dock edge when using Panel mode’ options.

Option 3: Use Dconf Editor

For choice, user may also use the ‘Dconf Editor’ configuration tool to do the job.

First, install Dconf Editor either from App Store, or by running command in terminal:

sudo apt install dconf-editor

Then, search for and launch the tool from overview screen.

When it opens, navigate to ‘org/gnome/shell/extensions/dash-to-dock‘. Finally, scroll down and find out the following 3 keys to center app icons and move ‘Show Apps’.

  • always-center-icons
  • show-apps-always-in-the-edge
  • show-apps-at-top

Hi, I'm Merilyn Ne, a computer geek working on Ubuntu Linux for many years and would like to write useful tips for beginners. Forgive me for language mistakes. I'm not a native speaker of English.