When comparing Cairo-Dock vs Synapse, the Slant community recommends Synapse for most people. In the question“What are the best Linux app launchers?” Synapse is ranked 7th while Cairo-Dock is ranked 10th. The most important reason people chose Synapse is:
Users can run commands such as ``sudo apt-get update`` from within Synapse, making for a convenient way to open or run items/commands.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Easy to tweak and make your own themes
Drag and drop, change icons, use effects, etc. It's fun to play with. It's not a basic dock program and the GUI is good.
Pro Cairo-Dock session
Users can choose to launch a stand alone Cairo-Dock session where the dock also serves as a taskbar where all apps are launchable such as in any other DE session. There is a composited version and one without.
Pro Popular and usually found and installed from a distros repo
Due to the popularity and how long Cairo-Dock has been around it is more often than not found in a distros repos, which is very convenient to get the app installed.
Pro Easily themed
Cairo-Dock has built in settings to install and use themes for the dock and icons. Definitely more robust in this are than most other docks available for Linux.
Pro Can run commands just as a terminal would
Users can run commands such as
sudo apt-get update from within Synapse, making for a convenient way to open or run items/commands.
Pro Rock solid
Synapse is pretty rock solid. Works as expected and launches applications fast.
Pro Zeitgeist powered
Synapse searches the Zeitgeist log, which tends to be a pretty quick way to do searches over other app launchers.
Pro Includes a Zeal plugin
Includes a Zeal plugin to make searching faster.
Con Poor/No system theme or icon integration
Docks use their own theme, own theme colors, icons, layout's and theme engines.
Con Hard/Underwhelming to configure
Cairo dock proposes a feature rich tool, tweakable to any degree. The configuration menus are at times inappropriate, shallow and uninteresting, complex to navigate, and prefab-centric. Rarely offering a satisfying preset, and always unsatisfying to tweak.
Con Can be heavy on resources for weaker systems
Cairo-Dock is more on the heavy side when compared to other docks, which is something to keep in mind for those that are on low resource systems.
Con Unable to search whole system
Due to Zeitgeist being used the search is not as robust as if it were using Tracker. Of course using Tracker has its own downside like battery drain, so currently there is no "best" solution.
Con Bound to control+space
Due to this it interferes with common IDE layouts for recommendations. Modifying hotkeys file doesn't adjust this.