9 Useful Gnome Shell Extensions for Linux

Gnome Shell allows you to modify it any way you want by installing extensions. There are many, many extensions out there to choose from. Since there are just so many, we’ve created a list containing some of the best.


Do you like Gnome Shell’s dock but hate that you can only access it in the Activities mode? Dash to Dock to the rescue! It turns Gnome’s dash dock into a full-fledged dock for you to use.


Remember back in the old days when Gnome had the places menu? Well, it’s possible to bring that back! With the Places Status extension you’ll have easy access to all of your filesystem bookmarks (home, documents, music, videos, etc.).


With this extension any removable device (external hard drive, USB, DVD, etc.) can be managed directly from the top panel. You’ll be able to quickly unmount devices. It saves a few clicks and looks great too.


Don’t you hate it when you’re reading something and your screensaver turns on? It’s something that we’ve all dealt with at one point or another. Enter Caffeine. This extension will not let Gnome Shell enable its lock screen as long as it’s enabled. If you’ve been looking for a way to temporarily disable the screensaver, Caffeine is a must.


One of the biggest failings of Gnome 3 is the horrible support for legacy icons. Sure, if you move your mouse to the bottom of the screen, the hidden tray will show itself, but that’s not what most people want. Most people want all notifications to appear on the top panel.

Not to worry, TopIcons exists. With this extension, all system tray icons will show up on the Gnome Shell panel. It does a great job blending in too. You probably won’t even notice the difference between legacy system tray icons and newer system tray icons.


Are you an avid Skype user? Wish Gnome Shell had some integration? Don’t worry! Thanks to the Skype Integration extension, you’ll be able to add Skype as a search provider to search contacts inside the Gnome dash, make Skype use native Gnome Shell notifications, display your online status and so much more!


The Gnome Shell dash search is very useful. With it you can find basically anything. However, there is one thing that the dash can’t search for: Web pages. With this extension, you’ll be able to search the Web directly from your Gnome activities center.


The terminal is an essential part of using Linux. Like it or not, eventually you will have to use it. So, if you’re going to have a terminal, why not have a stylish one? With the Drop Down Terminal extension, you’ll have quick access to a great looking terminal right in Gnome. It’s persistent. Just press a button on your keyboard and a terminal will appear.


Want to be able to easily check on your system at a glance? With the SystemMonitor extension, you’ll be able to check the Gnome Shell tray to check your system. The monitor shows CPU and memory usage.

Extensions are one of the reasons I love Gnome Shell, mostly because it allows you to add little modifications easily. Still, some might say that extensions are a huge failing for Gnome and that it’s silly that it’s so necessary to have to tweak Gnome. I’m not so sure I agree with this point fully.

While it can be a bit annoying to have to tack in features (by way of extensions) to add functionality that should have been there in the first place, it’s not the end of the world. This just means that you get a bit more control. You get to choose if you really want a feature there. I think that’s great.

Is your favorite Gnome Shell extension not on this list? Tell us in the comments below!