Customise Ubuntu 12.04 and Gnome 3.x with Gnome Extensions


GNOME Shell extensions are small pieces of code written by third party developers that modify the way GNOME works. (If you are familiar with Chrome Extensions or Firefox Addons, GNOME Shell extensions are similar to them.) You can find and install GNOME Shell extensions using https://extensions.gnome.org/.


Support for installing extensions from the website was first added in GNOME 3.2, so if you are using GNOME 3.0, you'll need to upgrade to a newer Linux distribution. You can check what version of GNOME is installed on your system using the "System Information" panel of "System Settings". If you are using GNOME 3.2 or newer and installation still doesn't work, check to make sure that the "GNOME Shell Integration" plugin is installed and enabled in your browser preferences. Read on for my favourite extensions...




Alternative Status Menu
- Replaces GNOME Shell Status Menu with one showing Suspend/Hibernate and Power Off as separate items.


Connection Manager
- Simple GUI app for Gnome 3 that provides a menu for initiating SSH/Telnet/Custom Apps connections. Combining this extension with a command line for VNC connections is absolutely great.


Coverflow Alt-Tab
- Replacement of Alt-Tab, iterates through windows in a cover-flow manner.
- Not currently working in Gnome 3.4


Desktop Scroller
- Switch between desktops scrolling at right edge of the screen.
- Not currently working in Gnome 3.4


Flippery Panel Favorites
- Add launchers for Favorites to the panel.


Places Status Indicator
- Add a systems status menu for quickly navigating places in the system.


Removable Drive Menu
- A status menu for accessing and unmounting removable devices.
- Not currently working in Gnome 3.4


Show Desktop Button
- Places a button to the left of the Window List to hide all windows and show the current desktop.
- Not currently working in Gnome 3.4

In addition to Gnome extensions you may want to use Gnome-tweak-tool to re-enable maximize, minimize and close on Gnome windows under Gnome 3.x, notably Ubuntu 11.10 and 12.04.

To do this run

sudo apt-get install -y gnome-tweak-tool
gnome-tweak-tool

Then within gnome tweak tool select:

> Shell 
> Arrangement of buttons on the titlebar
Check it is set to 'All'

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