How to Use Linux Mint Gnome Shell Extensions (MGSE) In Ubuntu

In our review of Linux Mint 12, we were impressed with the implementation of the Mint Gnome Shell Extensions (MGSE) and how it make the user-interface easy to use again. Now, if you are using Ubuntu and you don’t want to go through the hassle of installing Linux Mint from scratch, here’s how you can implement the MGSE in Ubuntu (assuming you are using Gnome Shell as your desktop manager).

1. Open a terminal and type:

2. Paste (using Ctrl + Shift + V) the following command to the end of the file.

Save the file (using Ctrl + O) and exit (Ctrl + X).

3. Update the repository. Ignore the gpg error, if you see any.

4. Install the following packages. When prompted to install without verification, enter ‘y’.

5. Restart Gnome shell (Alt + F2 follow by ‘r’). Open Gnome Tweak Tool. You should see the MGSE in the Gnome Shell Extension section.

Activate the Bottom Panel extension, Window List extension, Menu extension to get the full Linux Mint bottom panel feature. Alternatively, if you want the Menu extension without the bottom panel, you can just activate the Menu extension and it will appear beside the Activities button (top left corner).


After activating the bottom panel, you will find that the notification panel is gone. You can click the “!” button at the bottom right corner to bring up the notification panel. Alternatively, you can activate the Notifications extension to get all the notification icons to display at the top system tray (top right corner).


Install Linux Mint Mate in Ubuntu

Mate is the fork of Gnome 2 and is the fallback mode for users who don’t have 3D support. To run Mate in Ubuntu, install the following package:

Once installed, you will be able to login to Mate from the login page.

Linux Mint Theme and Wallpaper

If you like the Mint-Z theme, or the desktop wallpapers used in Linux Mint 12, you can also download them to your Ubuntu.

That’s it.

Damien Damien

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.


  1. This does not give me “menu” which is available when I enabled “bottom panel” – How to enable it ?
    I actually have the menu button in the bottom-panel. But nothing happens when I click on it.

    1. Disabling and “re-enabling” menu extension from “Gnome tweak tool” did the trick.
      It was already enabled, but menu didn’t work.

  2. Oh man thank you so much! I just installed Ubuntu 11.10 and I didn’t like Unity and Gnome 3 fallback but I did not want to install Linux Mint and use days again to reconfigure all my settings and applications so you saved me here!

    1. I am glad that you love it. Linux Mint has always been known for its user-friendly interface. Using the MGSE is the best you can get to Linux Mint without installing it.

  3. Is there any way to get rid of the top panel and move its icons in the bottom one? That was easy in Gnome 2 but I can’t find an add to panel / remove from panel menu. ALT-right click doesn’t work for me.

    1. The top panel is builtin in Gnome Shell. You can hide it, but not remove it, and yes, you are right, it didn’t support the “add applet to panel” behavior in gnome 2

      1. Thank you! I’ll see if I can turn back Gnome Shell into gnome 2. If I can’t… big problem: Unity is as bad as Gnome Shell but staying too long on GTK2 is not wise. Maybe the guys working on Mint will workout a reasonable DE.

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