Desktops Tools

The 12 Best Gnome Shell Extensions

Best Gnome Shell Extensions
Written by Martins D. Okoi

The GNOME Desktop Environment is among the most loved Linux Desktop Environments and with the right Linux tools you can turn it into the perfect one for you.

One way of customizing the DE is by using any of the many extensions available for free – which, apart from taking you steps closer to having an ideal UI/UX, greatly increase your productivity.

Below is our list of the top 12 extensions you can install on the GNOME Desktop.

1. Dash to Dock

Dash to Dock turns the dash from the app overview into a dock and allows you to launch and switch between open applications and desktop windows swiftly. It also comes with other cool features that you are likely to enjoy using.

Dash to Dock for Gnome

Dash to Dock for Gnome

2. Caffeine

The Caffeine extension allows you to disable the screensaver and auto suspend with a click.

This is perfect for when you are working on stuff that requires you to be away from your PC but you don’t want your PC to go to sleep.

Caffeine For Gnome

Caffeine For Gnome

3. User Themes

The User Themes enables you to load themes from your user directory. This makes working with themes a more pleasant experience.

User Themes Gnome Extension

User Themes Gnome Extension

4. OpenWeather

OpenWeather displays weather information using either Open Weather Map or Darksky and it supports almost all world locations.

Read Also: 7 Best Weather Apps for Ubuntu & Linux Mint

If you decide to use Open Weather you can either register for an API key and switch off related settings in the preferences dialog, or use the extension’s default key. If you opt to use Dark Sky then you’ll need to register to get your own API key.

OpenWeather

OpenWeather

5. Media Player Indicator

Media Player Indicator allows you to control any media player with support for MPRIS Version 2. This includes Rythmbox, Spotify, and any of the awesome Music Player apps that we’ve covered on FossMint.

Media Player Indicator

Media Player Indicator

6. Applications Menu

Applications Menu enables you to add category-based menus by which you can organize your installed applications.

  App Folders Manager - Create App Folders in GNOME Shell

You would like this one if you prefer the Windows 7-type menu activated via the start button.

Applications Menu

Applications Menu

7. System Monitor

System-Monitor enables you display system information like cpu usage, memory usage, etc. in your status bar.

Read Also: Stacer – The Linux System Optimizer You’ve Been Waiting For

You can use this for both informative and decorative purposes as long as you know how get the ideal theme set and wallpapers.

System Monitor

System Monitor

8. Removable Drive Menu

Removable Drive Menu operates as a status menu from which you can easily access and unmount removable devices.

Thanks to this extension, looking for connected devices is a thing of the past since it lists all external storage drives in the system tray.

Removable Drive Menu

Removable Drive Menu

9. Coverflow Alt-Tab

Coverflow Alt-Tab is a cool extension that replaces the default Alt-Tab function and enables you to iterate through windows in a cover-flow manner. This is perfect for users who fancy the workflow that image carousels provide.

Coverflow Alt-Tab

Coverflow Alt-Tab

10. Drop Down Terminal

Drop Down Terminal allows you to quickly launch your terminal as an applet. For power users who enjoy using their keyboard more than their mouse, this extension has keystroke support. By default, press the key above the tab button to activate it.

Drop Down Terminal

Drop Down Terminal

11. Gnome Overview Conf

Gnome Overview Conf enables you to edit the configuration of your app overview. This extension allows you to easily modify the icon sizes as well as the number of columns.

Gnome Overview Conf

Gnome Overview Conf

12. Places Status Indicator

With Places Status Indicator extension, you can add a menu in order to navigate places (directories) quicker. The idea is to be able to reach anywhere you want from anywhere you are without having to go back and forth within directories.

Places Status Indicator

Places Status Indicator

I’m positive that any, if not all of the listed extensions will be useful to you. I imagine that some of them could be updated to have advanced features.

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Caffeine, for example, can use more than 1 state: A normal state, one to disable only auto-suspend, and another to suspend both the auto-suspend and screensaver. Or, don’t you think so?

You can follow our guide on how to install GNOME extensions here if you’re not sure on how to go about it. You can also find other GNOME-related articles by searching for “GNOME”.

Feel free to list more awesome GNOME extensions in the comments section below.

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About the author

Martins D. Okoi

Martins Divine Okoi is a graduate of Computer Science with a passion for Linux and the Open Source community. He works as a Graphic Designer, Web Developer, and programmer.