Fully configurable (w/ command line arguments and css) dock, written in Go, aimed exclusively at sway Wayland compositor. It features pinned buttons, task buttons, the workspace switcher and the launcher button. The latter by default starts nwggrid (application grid) from nwg-launchers. In the picture(s) below the dock has been shown together with nwg-panel.


more pictures



  • go up to 1.16.2: just to build. See the note below.
  • gtk3
  • gtk-layer-shell
  • nwg-launchers: optionally. You may use another launcher, see help.

Note: For go 1.16.3 a more recent gotk3 version would be necessary. For now I tried the 86f85cbecd0b990beab32a3471b08ad3cdd8f93b commit and it worked, but would give me deprecation warnings. It also needed some changes to the code, as glib.TimeoutAdd now returns just int, w/o error. Let’s wait a little bit more.


  1. Clone the repository, cd into it.
  2. Install necessary golang libraries with make get. First time it may take awhile, be patient.
  3. sudo make install

Or you may skip 1 and 2, and try just sudo make install. You’ve downloaded the binary in the /bin directory.


Either start the dock permanently in the sway config file,

exec nwg-dock [arguments]

or assign the command to some key binding. Running the command again kills existing program instance, so you may use the same key to open and close the dock.

Running in autohiDe mode

If you run the program with the -d argument, it will start up hidden. Move the mouse pointer to expected dock location for the dock to show up. It will be hidden a second after you leave the window or use a button. Invisible hot spots to activate the dock will be created on all your outputs, unless you specify one with the -o argument.

As the dock in autohide mode is expected to be started from the sway config with

exec_always nwg-dock -d

…re-execution of the command with the -d argument won’t kill the running instance. If the dock is already running, another instance will exit with 0 code. In case you’d like to terminate it anyway, just use the nwg-dock command with no argument.

Usage of nwg-dock:
  -a string
    	Alignment in full width/height: "start", "center" or "end" (default "center")
  -c string
    	Command assigned to the launcher button (default "nwggrid -p")
  -d	auto-hiDe: show dock when hotspot hovered, close when left or a button clicked
  -f	take Full screen width/height
  -i int
    	Icon size (default 48)
  -l string
    	Layer "overlay", "top" or "bottom" (default "overlay")
  -mb int
    	Margin Bottom
  -ml int
    	Margin Left
  -mr int
    	Margin Right
  -mt int
    	Margin Top
  -o string
    	name of Output to display the dock on
  -p string
    	Position: "bottom", "top" or "left" (default "bottom")
  -s string
    	Styling: css file name (default "style.css")
  -v	display Version information
  -w int
    	number of Workspaces you use (default 8)
  -x	set eXclusive zone: move other windows aside; overrides the "-l" argument


Edit ~/.config/nwg-dock/style.css to your taste.


This program uses some great libraries:

  • gotk3 Copyright (c) 2013-2014 Conformal Systems LLC, Copyright (c) 2015-2018 gotk3 contributors
  • gotk3-layershell by @dlasky – many thanks for writing this software, and for patience with my requests!
  • go-sway Copyright (c) 2019 Joshua Rubin
  • go-singleinstance Copyright (c) 2015 Allan Simon