10 Of The Best Gnome Shell Extensions

Ever since Gnome started the extensions site where developers can submit their extensions to the library, there have been a great number of useful extensions that appear in the list. With the new extension site, installation of extensions is simply a mouse click. Gone are the days where we still need to add a custom repository just to install an extension. Below are 10 of the best Gnome Shell extensions that we uncovered from the library.

Before we start. let’s first touch on the method to install an extension in your Gnome Shell.

1. First, go to the Gnome Shell extension page. Search for the extension that you want to install.

2. Click the “Off” button at the left of the extension title. The slider will now move to “On”.

gnome-extension-install

3. A popup will appear to ask if you want to download and install the extension. Click “Install”.

gnome-extension-install-prompt

That’s it.

1. Frippery Applications Menu

Personally, I feel that the Activities button at the screen top left corner is useless. It serves the same purpose as the Super button (on your keyboard) and moving your mouse cursor to the top left corner, and it has never been utilized. What the Frippery Applications Menu does is to replace the Activities button with the old Gnome 2.x Application Menu. Click on it and it will show all your applications arranged in their respective categories.

gnome-extension-frippery-app-menu

It is definitely more useful than the Activities button.

2. Desktop Scroller

If you like to use different workspace to manage your applications and windows, you will find that switching to another workspace is a very troublesome task. You need to go to the Activities overview (either move your mouse to the screen top left corner, or press the Super button) before you can select the workspace.

The Desktop Scroller is a handy extension where you can move your cursor to the right edge of the screen and scroll up/down to switch workspace. This is one useful way to improve your productivity.

3. gTile

Do you like to work with several applications concurrently? If yes, I am sure you will face the issue of arranging your application windows properly to make them viewable. The gTile extension allows you to quickly arrange your windows in tile. The default setting comes with grids of 2×2, 3×2, 4×4, and 6×6, but you can configure the ‘extension.js’ and add your own grid layout.

gnome-extension-gtile

4. Jump Lists

The Ubuntu Unity comes with a feature where you can edit the jump list items and behavior for each application launcher. In Gnome Shell, you can achieve the same effect with the Jump Lists extension.

gnome-extension-jump-lists

The Jump Lists items are based on the recent files that you have opened. It will requires Zeitgeist to be installed.

5. Music Integration

Ubuntu comes with Banshee media player pre-installed and there is an appindicator where you can control the playback of your music. But what if you are not using Banshee? What about Clementine, Rhythmbox or even the Nuvola Player? This Music Integration extension will unite them all. Making use of the MPRIS2, it will integrate all those supported Music Player into your Gnome Shell automatically.

gnome-extension-music-integration

One thing to note, if you install this extension via the Gnome extension, it will not activate the Music Preferences by default. Here is how you can activate it.

Open a terminal and type the following lines:

cd ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/music-integration@brianrobles204
sudo cp org.gnome.shell.extensions.musicintegration.gschema.xml /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas/
sudo glib-compile-schemas /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas/

6. Overlay Icons

This extension adds a big application icon to each application on the Activities overview page. This makes it easier for you to locate the application window that you are looking for.

gnome-extension-overlay-icon

Seriously, I think this should be part of the Gnome Shell feature, rather than having to install an extension to enable it.

7. Places Status Indicator

This is a simple extension that add a systems status menu for quickly navigating places in the system. Simple, yet useful.

gnome-extension-place-status

8. Calculator

Instead of opening the calculator app every time you need to do a quick maths, this extension allows you to do calculation on the search overview. Simply go to the Activities overview page and type your maths in the search field. The result will instantly appear at the center of the screen.

gnome-extension-calculator

9. Coverflow Alt-Tab

Are you bored of the default Alt + Tab windows switching behavior? This extension adds a coverflow animation so you can switch your windows in style.

gnome-extension-coverflow

10. Mint Gnome Shell Extension (MGSE)

The Linux Mint MGSE contains few of the best extensions that are not found in the Gnome Shell Extension library. The Bottom Panel and Windows List extension make Gnome Shell a much better, and usable desktop manager.

Here you are – 10 of the best Gnome Shell extensions. I am sure to have missed out a few, do tell us about your favorite extension in the comments.

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