Plank and Tilda are two already installed software programs on Ubuntu 16.04 MATE. As with a lot of programs that come already installed on any Linux distro, there are those that love em, and those that hate em. I tend to try whatever comes installed and see if it is better or worse than what I have been using, and then make a decision about using it or not. In this case I found a use for both, and really like one of them.
I did a little research on plank before firing it up. I have used desktop docks in the past and while I found them cute and somewhat useful, I didn’t really like running compiz. There was just entirely too much fiddling with it to suit my taste. Plank however can run with MATE using the less aggressive Marco compositor.
Plank is an easy way to get rid of one panel in MATE and make your desktop look a little nicer. It can be run at start up by adding it to your start up applications in the Control Center. The command is simply: plank. I had a bit of a problem adding program icons to it, with the older docks you just dragged and dropped the icon in the dock. Plank works a little differently, Just open the program from your menu and the icon will show up in the dock. Then right click on the icon and check: Keep in dock. Preferences can be set by right clicking on the bluish anchor icon in the dock and selecting preferences.
Tilda is a drop down terminal that I really just stumbled across. I hit F12 and a terminal just appeared on my screen. I thought I had hit the wrong key so I hit F11 and holy cow, it blew it up to full screen. I sat there saying what was that. Once I got my tongue back in my mouth and that mouth closed, I hit Google to see what was going on. That’s when I found T. I wasn’t impressed…at first.
I just couldn’t get it to configure correctly, and I still don’t have transparency but, it turns out to be a solid, quick and efficient way to do those quick terminal chores without having to open a new terminal or tab. After getting it setup the best I could for my use, I find myself using it at every session at the computer. It’s a quick and easy way to use a terminal. There’s a screen shot below and as always Happy Computing!