I'm running xfce on ubuntu 18.04 via vnc on a headless machine. When I run docky or plank, I have this black bar under it.

I've found some info online which says I needed to disable shadows under dock. I've done that, but it didn't really seem to have any impact. Any ideas at all are welcome.

Here's a screenshot which shows the bar and my current compositor settings

1 Answer 1


My problem here ended up being the compositor. I do not yet know why, but the default xfce compositor would not start when I started xfce.

I have solved this by installing compton (http://duncanlock.net/blog/2013/06/07/how-to-switch-to-compton-for-beautiful-tear-free-compositing-in-xfce/) as the compositor and editing my ~/.vnc/xstartup file to also start compton.

With this solution, the black bar is gone.

However, docky, plank, albert and other applications which use custom windows of some kind still have a small shadow around them and seem to freeze constantly. So the specific solution to my black bar problem was the compositor and compton sorted that.

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