Favorite gnome shell extensions

My favorite Gnome Shell extensions. List follows.


In alpha sort order:

Alternate Tab
Applications Menu
Messaging Menu
Places Status Indicator
Skype Integration
User Themes
Gnome Shell Open Terminal

A very few words about the above.

First, for me nautilus-open-terminal is one of the most important additions you can make to any Gnome Shell environment. Right clicking to bring up a console is the single most repeated task I do on any Linux desktop. Without it I feel crippled.

Of course to get open-terminal to work you need to modify the Shell’s behavior so that the desktop is controlled by Nautilus. For that you need the gnome-tweak-tool, the second most essential utility required to bring sanity to the Gnome Shell (“Have file manager handle the desktop” is the very first option in the very first tab of the tweak-tool). While you’re in there you’ll want to make several other changes, including changing Shell… Arrangement of Buttons on the titlebar to “All” and Typing… Key sequence to kill the X server to “Control + Alt + Backspace”.

Why changing apps using Alt-Tab wasn’t built into Shell to begin with is beyond me. All I know is that I need it.

The Application Menu is nice to have if you actually use more than the handful of apps that Gnome displays by default.

The Places Status indicator helps you avoid having to open the File Manager (Nautilus) every time you need to open a disk or network share.

Taskbar gives what Application Menu takes away, the default Gnome application launcher. Under “Components” I turn off everything except “Tasks”.

User Themes is for… future expansion.

Weather is just fun, and useful too if you work in a windowless cubicle farm.

The ignore_request_hide_titlebar extension is a late edition added only after I found myself with a maximized file manager and no way to un-maximize it. Rather than cook off a box of .30 ammo at a target in frustration, I installed this extension and was able to regain control of my desktop. For now.

Gnome Shell Open Terminal is nice for times when you don’t want to go through the additional configuration needed to make nautilus-open-terminal work “correctly” (basically allowing right-clicking to get a terminal that opens in the root of the user’s home directory rather than their Desktop).

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About phil

My name is Phil Lembo. In my day job I’m an enterprise IT architect for a leading distribution and services company. The rest of my time I try to maintain a semi-normal family life in the suburbs of Raleigh, NC. E-mail me at philipATlembobrothersDOTcom. The opinions expressed here are entirely my own and not those of my employers, past, present or future (except where I quote others, who will need to accept responsibility for their own rants).