Place a Thunderbird and Chrome Icon on Plank Dock

This is a “How-To” for placing a persistent Thunderbird icon on your Plank Dock. I use XFCE, but the process should be the same no matter your DE. I have broken the process down into small steps so everyone should be able to have a Thunderbird icon on the Plank Dock.

Have a persistent Thunderbird icon on Plank Dock

If you are comfortable with Thunar or are using the command line, you will end up here:


This is assuming you are running one instance of Plank which most people are.

For those not so comfortable charging forward here are the steps in sequence you need to take.

1. Open Thunar. You will be in your home directory. Thunar will show the path: /home/user/

2. Under the option ‘View’ click in the box: “Show Hidden Files”. A check mark will appear in the box. You will now see new folders with a “.” in front of the name. These are hidden folders in your home directory.

3. Click and open the Folder named: .config. This is a Hidden Folder containing more Folders for your user account in your Home directory.

4. Click on and open the Folder named: ‘plank’. This is where Plank stores the folders and information it needs for the way you have it set up for your user.

5. Click and open the Folder named: dock1. This is your Plank Dock folder.

6. Click and open the Folder named: launchers. This is where instructions for the icons Plank has placed on your Dock reside. Without these files, your Dock would be empty.

Thunar should have this as its path:


7. Right Click on the file: mousepad.dockitem or if you are using Featherpad, Right Click on featherpad.dockitem.

8. Click on, “Open with Mousepad” or “Open with Featherpad”. You must use mousepad or featherpad, and not Libre Office or other editor.

9. In your editor you will see the actual launcher instructions that Plank uses. The instructions will look like this:


10. Delete the word, mousepad in mousepad.desktop

11. Type in the word, thunderbird. When you are done it will look like this:


12. Click on File -> Save As

13. After “Name:” on the top line, change the file name. “mousepad.dockitem” to thunderbird.dockitem

14. Look at the directory path. It still should be:


If it is not change to this directory before saving.

15. Click “Save” on the bottom right of the screen. Close mousepad or featherpad.

Double Icons when Thunderbird is open.

You are all done! You should logout, and log back in to see the changes you have created. If you have more than one user, either repeat the steps for each user.

An icon for Thunderbird will now be on your Plank Dock. The only annoyance is when you launch Thunderbird, a second Thunderbird icon will appear on the Plank Dock. It will disappear when you close Thunderbird.

Go back and un-check, “Show Hidden Files”. You want to see them every time you open Thunar.

07/29/2020  Have a Chrome icon on your Plank Dock

Here is how you may have google-chrome on your dock. Follow the steps in the post above changing as needed.

Add the text below:



Save your file with the name: google-chrome.dockitem in your plank/dock1 directory.

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2 Responses to Place a Thunderbird and Chrome Icon on Plank Dock

  1. Yoshiaki Shimada says:

    It was very helpful.
    Thank you!

    • Michael says:

      Yes, it frustrated me for some time. With some distributions Thunderbird was fine, and in others, would not reside on the dock. Glad it worked for you!

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