How to Customize the Orange Dots in the Dock of Ubuntu 20.04 / 22.04

Last updated: February 14, 2022 — 2 Comments

Ubuntu by default shows orange dots under app icons in the dock panel, indicate the apps have running windows. They are called ‘running dots‘. And, Ubuntu provides hidden settings to change the style as well as colors if you don’t like the default look and feel.

Option 1: Change the Orange Dots via Dconf Editor

1.) The advanced ‘Dconf Editor‘ provides a graphical interface to configure hidden settings in Ubuntu. You may firstly install it either via the apt command below:

sudo apt install dconf-editor

or use Ubuntu Software:

2.) Next, search for and open ‘Dconf Editor’ from the Activities overview screen. When it opens, navigate to ‘/org/gnome/shell/extensions/dash-to-dock/‘.

3.) Scroll down, find out and click to configure the key ‘running-indicator-style‘. By selecting another value will replace the dots with dashes, square dots, or lines.

4. After changing the style, you may also specify another color, by changing the value of ‘custom-theme-running-dots-color‘:

As you see, it also supports border color though disabled by default since border width set to 0.

In addition, you may enable different colors for running dots (dashes or lines) on per app basis by disabling ‘custom-theme-customize-running-dots‘ and then enabling ‘running-indicator-dominant-color.

Option 2: Customize the Orange Dots via gsettings command:

For those familiar with Linux commands, the previous things can be done by running the commands below in terminal.

Firstly, press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal. When it opens, run the commands below accordingly.

1.) Replace the dots with square dots, dashes, or vertical lines by running command:

gsettings set running-indicator-style 'DASHES'

Here the value ‘DASHES’ can be replaced with: ‘DOTS’, ‘SQUARES’, ‘SOLID’, ‘METRO’, ‘CILIORA’, and ‘SAGMENTED’.

Also, set it to ‘DEFAULT’ will reset to default and override the settings below.

2.) Specify a color to use for ‘running dots’ (change the color value as you prefer):

gsettings set custom-theme-running-dots-color '#F2F1F0'

3.) To have color on per app basis, first disable ‘custom-theme-customize-running-dots’ key via:

gsettings set custom-theme-customize-running-dots false

then enable ‘running-indicator-dominant-color’ via command:

gsettings set running-indicator-dominant-color true

That’s all. Enjoy!


I'm a freelance blogger who started using Ubuntu in 2007 and wishes to share my experiences and some useful tips with Ubuntu beginners and lovers. Please comment to let me know if the tutorial is outdated! And, notify me if you find any typo/grammar/language mistakes. English is not my native language. Contact me via [email protected] Buy me a coffee:

2 responses to How to Customize the Orange Dots in the Dock of Ubuntu 20.04 / 22.04

  1. Please, can you tell me how to customize in Ubuntu 20.04 the orange lines (or blue lines with adwaita) under the tray icons (volumes, wifi, etc) and under the menu button?. Is it possible to change them in dots or something else than lines?

    Thanks in advance

  2. Dave Crenshaw May 22, 2023 at 8:18 pm

    Love your info Ji. I wish there was a dconf way to change the window title bar.

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