When comparing Rofi vs Docky, the Slant community recommends Rofi for most people. In the question“What are the best Linux app launchers?” Rofi is ranked 1st while Docky is ranked 5th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Can run commands
<code>run: st toxic</code> Runs a tox client in the terminal emulator "st".
<code>run: maim ~/Images/screenshots</code> take a screenshot with "maim" and save it to given location.
Pro Minimalist design, yet can use customizable themes
Also it's easy to make use of your own "plugin" (scripts).
Pro Great keybindings
They seem to be emacs based.
Pro Resource efficient
Pro Case insensitive
Instead of having to worry about case sensitive characters, you can use caps or lowercase wherever you please without causing any issues.
Pro Clipboard history extension
Greenclip adds clipboard manager functionality.
Pro Greatly maintained
Pro No resource usage when you're not using it
Other launchers often run in the background to be prepared for showing the launcher. Rofi doesn't do this. On the negative side this means it can launch slower (depending on your environment and setrtings).
Pro Easily switch windows without mouse
Pro Drag and drop apps to the dock
Users can easily drag and drop apps to the dock for easy launching. Any app that is added will stay on the dock until removed manually. This makes for a great way to have all of ones most used apps in one place.
Pro Many themes
There are several themes installed with the dock by default that aare easily switched in the settings. What is even better is that there are many themes available online for download as well. With the best part being thatt he themes are simple .svg files that are easily editable in Inkscape to customize to how one wants.
Pro Highly Customisable.
Pro Plugin Docklets
Docky provides simple applications that run inside of the dock such as a clock, weather forecaster and CPU monitor. These provide an easy way to see information without having to open up separate apps.
Pro Panel mode
For those that do not like the OSX dock look there is also a panel mode included that pushed the apps to the left side of the panel and elongates the dock to fill the entire bottom of the screen, just as a regular OS panel would.
Con One of the most poorly documented launchers for new users
Install Rofi and google how to actually start or use it. Sure, there's plenty of Arch users screaming about dmenu, showing off editing of config files, integrating it with i3 or this or that, but how do we actually:
1) Start it.
2) Use it.
Rofi seemed intriguing, because it was ranked #1 on slant, but it may be better to use a third party dock in Xfce, because there's simply no resource on how to use Rofi for a complete newbie.
Con Issues when Caps Lock is active
When typing with Caps Lock activated, it's impossible to use Backspace. Rofi eventually freezes in this scenario.
Con Issues on Wayland
If you use Wayland, then Rofi may fail to grab keypresses or inputs, or may fail altogether. Works fine if you switch to X11.
Con Lacks keywords to switch between modes
You can switch between modes with ctrl+tab by default, but if you have a lot of modes this is slow.
Con Lacks a default "blank slate" launch behavior
Unlike Ulauncher, Albert and similar launcher there's no generic "enable everything" launch behavior. You can configure Rofi to do almost this, but it's whitelist based, so you'd have to reconfigure it if you install or uninstall a plugin, and Rofi has to know if the plugin should be part of the combi mode or treated as an isolated mode.
Con Lacks conventions for plugins
For example the calc mode/plugin will output the result to stdout by default, while the emoji mode/plugin will add it to the clipboard, and there's no good way for plugins to add additional config option. The plugins can check your CLI arguments, but you can't put those in your config instead to make them persist in a convenient manner, so you have to pass them as arguments every time, and multiple plugins could implement the same cli argument to mean different things.
Con Removing Docky icon is not as easy as it should be
gconf editor is required in order to remove the Docky icon from the dock, which seems unnecessary as the setting exists, it should be in the app settings instead of hidden away in gconf.