I followed the instructions given here to add a folder / stack to my dock, but I can't seem to add the folder to the dock. It opens in the application it is dropped on, and no space is created for it.

  • in fact the location of the folder is not important as long as it does not need administrative rights to edit. - also avoid the location mentioned at that link, use one like /home/username/my-launchers
    – user170
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 14:56
  • i can't drag the folder to the plank
    – anukul
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 15:16
  • be sure your target folder is NOT in a location that needs administrative rights to edit its content, then see my answer
    – user170
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 15:24
  • please tell me if that worked for you, other solutions may be at hand like resetting Plank completely.
    – user170
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 15:41
  • you could create a new question asking why this doesn't work for you
    – user170
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 16:02

1 Answer 1


The Plank build that comes with elementary OS Freya has

certain features disabled by design.

If you have the official elementary OS build of Plank, then you will lack those features.

Consider this answer by Daniel Foré on the fact that the Plank build in elementary OS has certain features patched out. That is an answer on a question about zoom: as you also lack zoom, as you mentioned in a comment, I think you are using the main elementary OS build of Plank.

So, to get the full-featured Plank, you need to install the build from Rico's PPA.

I must have installed that already (see my answer under the linked question and Daniel's comment thereunder) since all these settings work in my case.

So, there's nothing wrong with your Plank, it's the normal one in Freya, but you need Rico's build to get what you ask here.

Just remove Plank, add that PPA, update, then install Plank again.

After that, you may change the settings:

Open ~/.config/plank/dock1/settings

(if you just have one dock, otherwise you'll have different folders dock1, dock2 etc)

Or with gedit or other text editor:

gedit ~/.config/plank/dock1/settings

Be sure that you have false present like so:

#Whether to prevent drag'n'drop actions and lock items on the dock.

Save and then see if drag&drop works.

To make the whole process more visible (the space needed created for the dropped item etc) maybe you should consider enabling also zoom:

#Whether the dock will zoom when hovered.

With both LockItems=false and ZoomEnabled=true it should look like so:

enter image description here

If it doesn't work you can also try this:

Each Plank item has a corresponding .dockitem file in ~/.config/plank/dock1/launchers.

You could try creating your dockitem file there and see if that works, like so:

gedit ~/.config/plank/dock1/launchers/name-of-your-directory.dockitem

replacing name-of-you-directory with the exact NAME of the target folder.

Paste in there something like:


Replace file:///path/to/your/folder/name-of-your-directory with the exact PATH of the target folder.

and save

Tested it myself, it works for me.

Moving folder items after they are on the dock doesn't seem possible though, as long-clicking them to select and move them would just open their contents and options.

enter image description here

  • The first method does not work, the second does.
    – anukul
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 15:43
  • I think there is something wrong with my dock. I cannot move the folder dockitem. I can move the other icons to move the folder to the right place, but I can't move the folder itself. Nor can I drag folders to the dock. What might be the reason for this?
    – anukul
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 15:46
  • 1
    you can disregard my last comment. i think not being able to move folders is normal. neither can i. long left click opens the content and options and cannot drag. that is the normal behaviour i think
    – user170
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 15:51
  • 1
    no zoom in this one
    – anukul
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 4:52
  • 1
    @AnukulSangwan - that's the answer then! you need the build from Rico's PPA to have all these settings available. I will add this info to the answer
    – user170
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 9:27

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