Unlock The Full Potential Of Ubuntu Using Gnome Extensions

GNOME DE is a free and open-source desktop environment that is widely used in Linux. It is designed to provide a user-friendly and customizable interface for Linux users, with a focus on simplicity and ease of use.

Gnome is the default desktop environment for many Linux distributions like Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE, and many others. Gnome makes the desktop look clean and has the ability to add additional features through Gnome Extensions.

In this tutorial, we are going to learn what Gnome Extensions are and how we can use these extensions to maximize our productivity on Ubuntu. And I will also introduce you to 19 GNOME Extensions that will drastically improve your user experience.

What Are Gnome Extensions?

Gnome Extensions are add-ons that can be installed to extend the functionality of the GNOME desktop environment. These are small programs that add new features or modify existing ones to enhance the user’s experience of the GNOME interface.

Gnome extensions are typically created by developers and community members who want to add new features to the GNOME desktop environment. These extensions are often made available to the public, either through the official Gnome Extension website or through third-party repositories.

There is a wide range of Gnome Extensions available. You can find simple utilities that can add new features to the panel or more complex applications that provide additional system functionalities or desktop customization options.

Why Should You Use Gnome Extensions? – 5 Reasons

Gnome Extensions are great. It helps you in so many ways to better optimize your Ubuntu desktop. It can give you the functionality to change the look and feel of your desktop, add additional features to the system, and improve overall user experience.

Here are 5 compelling reasons why you should consider using Gnome Extensions on Ubuntu.

Customization

Customization is the biggest reason to use Gnome Extension. Gnome Desktop Environment or Ubuntu in this case, does not provide the option to fully customize your desktop. The customization options are very limited but not locked down.

This is one of the biggest benefits of open-source software. It allows you to customize things. Gnome Extension allows you to change the Gnome Shell to give it a completely different look. You can use Themes and Icon Packs and give your desktop the look you want.

Add Additional Features

You can add more features to your Ubuntu system using these Gnome Extensions. You can enhance your productivity and make your computing experience more convenient.

For example, you can install an extension that displays the weather forecast in the panel, a simple utility to monitor your system resources or an extension that lets you quickly access your most frequently used applications.

You can do a lot of things with these extensions.

Improved Functionality

You can improve functionality in the desktop environment that may not be available by default. For example, you can install an extension called Dash-To-Dock that can change the Ubuntu dock and add additional features to customize it and enhance your productivity.

Enhanced Productivity

You can make yourself more productive by adding new tools and features that streamline your workflow. For example, you can install an extension that lets you quickly switch between open windows or an extension that provides advanced keyboard shortcuts.

Better User Experience

Overall Gnome Extensions can make your user experience better. You can do so many things in a short amount of time. Adding additional features, improved functionality, enhance productivity, and customization can lead you to a better user experience. You may not have the full potential of your Gnome Desktop or Ubuntu system without these extensions.

What Is Gnome Tweaks?

GNOME-Tweaks-Logo

Gnome Tweaks is an essential part to use Gnome Extensions. Gnome Tweaks unlocks the full potential of your Gnome Desktop otherwise you won’t be able to do it on regular Gnome settings.

Gnome Tweaks is a graphical user interface tool for customizing and fine-tuning the Gnome desktop environment. It provides access to a wide range of system settings and features that are not available by default.

Gnome Desktop does not offer much customization out of the box. We need some third-party tools to customize it. This is where Gnome Tweaks comes in handy. With Gnome Tweaks, you can modify various aspects of the desktop environment, such as the appearance of the interface, the behavior of the mouse and keyboard, the layout of the workspace, and more.

Gnome Tweaks also provides an easy way to manage your Gnome extensions, allowing you to enable, disable, or remove them as needed.

How To Install Gnome Tweaks On Ubuntu?

Installing Gnome Tweaks is an easy process. You can use the terminal to install it. Open the terminal and enter the command below.

sudo apt install gnome-tweaks

After that, Gnome Tweaks is installed. Go to the applications menu and search for “Tweaks” to find it.

Search For Gnome Tweaks

How To Install Gnome Extensions On Ubuntu?

After installing Gnow Tweaks, you can go to the Gnome Extensions website to install various extensions.

Go to this website and look for the extension you want.

Gnome Extension Website

Click on the extension name to open up the page. Now toggle the button to start the installation of the extension.

Install Gnome Extension - Step 1

It will ask you to download and install the extension. Click the Install button to install it.

Install Gnome Extension - Step 2

Refresh the page and you will see the remove button and the settings button.

Install Gnome Extension - Step 3

Manage Gnome Extensions Using Extension Manager

Extension Manager is part of the Gnome Tweaks app. It will help you to manage your Gnome Extensions all at once. You can easily turn on and off your installed extension, change its settings, and remove it if not needed.

Extension Manager

To start the Extension Manager, simply open your application menu and search for “Extension”. You will see the Extension Manager from the search result. Use it to manage your Gnome Extensions.

Search For Extension Manager

Top 19 Gnome Extensions You Must Have

The following Gnome Extensions are my top pick that every Ubuntu user must have. These extensions let you change the theme, add additional features to the panel, change the docking system, add effects to the windows, and many more.

Extensions Description
User Themes Change the shell theme.
Removable Drive Menu Safely remove external drives from the taskbar.
AppIndicator and KStatusNotifierItem Support System tray support for various apps.
Clipboard Indicator Show the clipboard in the taskbar.
Sound Input & Output Device Chooser Change the sound input and output device from the panel.
OpenWeather Display weather information for any location on Earth in the panel.
Caffeine Disable the screensaver and auto-suspend.
Lock Keys Numlock and Capslock status on the panel.
Compiz alike magic lamp effect Wobbly effect on windows.
ArcMenu Application menu with various options.
Dash to Dock A dock for the Gnome shell. Add more options to the Ubuntu dock.
Dash to Panel Combine the dock and the panel into one.
Dash to Plank GNOME Shell integration for Plank.
Improved Workspace Indicator Shows both current and in-use workspaces.
Net Speed Simplified Shows network upload and download speeds in the top bar.
Blur My Shell Adds blur effect in the GNOME Shell.
Burn my windows Adds different window effects.
Vitals Monitor your system resource in the top bar.

Troubleshooting Common Issues With Gnome Extensions On Ubuntu

You might face some issues while using these extensions. As most of the extensions are developed by community members, some extensions may not be maintained properly to work with the Gnome version you are currently using on your system. Or maybe you have missing dependencies on your system that prevents them from working correctly.

One of the most common problems you might face is:

Although GNOME Shell integration extension is running, native host connector is not detected.

This problem is very common and can be solved by installing a package called “chrome-gnome-shell”. To install this package, you need to use the following command in the terminal.

sudo apt-get install chrome-gnome-shell

Another problem you may face is the compatibility of the extension you are trying to install. As I have said earlier, most of the extensions are made by community members, some extensions do not maintain regularly to work with the most recent version of Gnome.

If you encounter such problems, I suggest you not install them and let the developer know that there is a problem.

Some extensions require additional dependencies to work properly. If you find certain extensions that are compatible with the version of your Gnome and still not working, chances are you have missing dependencies. In this case, I suggest you see the documentation of that extension or ask in the community forums.

Conclusion

In this tutorial, we have learned how we can use Gnome Extensions to unlock the full potential of Ubuntu. Gnome Extensions are great. These will give you more customization options, functionalities, improvements, and the ability to tweak the desktop the way you want.

I hope you have learned something new today. If you like this tutorial, don’t forget to share this with the one who needs it.

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