This is a sequel to Gnome 3 and Shell – A Complete User Guide [ Part 1] and Gnome 3 and Shell – A Complete User Guide [ Part 2]. Gnome Shell is like the Dead Man’s Chest in the movie, Pirates of the Carribean, its ugly and hidden in a distant land, but once you find it and unlock it, you will have the complete control over a invincible ship. The key to make Gnome Shell “invincible” is the Shell extensions.

Gnome Shell is completely designed with CSS and JavaScript, and hence with JavaScript you can make Gnome Shell behave the way you need it to work. Check out this good collection of Shell Extensions .

Gnome Tweak tool is required to enable or disable a extension. Open Gnome Tweak tool and switch to the “Shell-Extensions” tab. It lists all the available extensions.

Gnome Tweak tool without any extensions installed

Let us install some now. First download this zip file

Goto the downloaded location using terminal and run 

tar -zxvf gnome-shell-frippery-0.2.5.tgz

(We are unziping the downloaded file here, you can use any other method you like)

  • Navigate to .local/share/gnome-shell/extensions in the downloaded folder or run in terminal 
cd .local/share/gnome-shell/extensions
  • Copy the contents to /usr/share/gnome-shell/extensions or ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions or run in terminal
sudo cp -r * /usr/share/gnome-shell/extensions
  • Logout and Login for the Tweak tool to load the extensions
  • Now open the Gnome Tweak Tool. Now you should see a screen as below

Tweak tool after the extensions are installed

Bottom Panel Extension:

This gives us a Gnome2 like botom panel where the open applications can be listed, workspace switcher can be added ..etc.,

ShutDown Menu Extension:

If you have been using Gnome Shell I am sure you have been irritated by the fact you cannot shutdown just directly (you will have to first logout, and then shutdown). This extension puts adds the shut down option to the user menu at the right-top corner and gives a number of power options when clicked.

ShutDown at the User Menu

The Various Power down options.

Disable Dynamic Work Spaces Extension:

This extension restricts the maximum number of workspaces created to 4. This helps the Gnome2 users to stick to their 4 desktop setup. But I personally like Dynamic workspace creation concept and recommend it. If you think you will lose  track of the applications, then activate this and keep the maximum workspaces down to 4.

Panel Favourites Extension:

Now you are going to kiss me for this. This extension puts all your favourites in the side panel onto the top panel also. Now you don’t have to hit the windows key or move your mouse to the top-left corner to bring that sidebar up to launch your applications. You can do it directly from the top panel.

The Top panel with all your favourite applications

Applications Menu Extension:

Another kiss may be 😛 This extension brings you the Gnome Two type Apllications Menu. You might have noticed that the “Activities” in top left corner has been changed to “Applications”. When clicked this brings you the Applications list.

The Applications Menu

Move Clock Extension:

This Extension moves the Clock to its right place between the indication icons and next to the User button on the top panel.

The Clock movedto right

Now you have everything you would ask for in a desktop environment. At this pont, I do not have any reason to switch to another desktop even if payed for it.

Of course, you can always add bells and whistles, Gnome Shell Extensions has yet another extensive collection of extensions for trying out. If you know Javascript, at some point you can of course write your own 🙂