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Install Gnome-Shell Extensions, Expand Your Gnome3 Desktop!

Gnome Shell extension is an official Gnome project to help people to add features that are "missing" (especially if you're coming from the now old Gnome 2+ version). For instance, if you don't like the new way of switching tasks in Gnome3 but want the old way of doing that... then there is an extension that helps you do that.

The extensions were released few days ago actually but they haven't been able to run in new Gnome3 because of a bug. But yesterday they've finally fixed it and now Gnome3 fully works with the extensions.You can also change the how the "Dock" in Gnome3 (in any GNU/Linux distribution as long as GTK3+ written Gnome3 is installed) behaves with these extensions as well.

Via: webupd8.org

For example, by default the Dock only shows itself under "activities view", otherwise it is hidden. But by installing an extension called "Dock" you can make it behave very much like "Docky". Since all these shell extensions are supported officially, you should be able to install them using the same PPA for Gnome3 in Ubuntu... but if that does not work for you, then you'll have to compile them using the below command in Terminal.

cd ~/gnome-shell/source
git clone http://git.gnome.org/browse/gnome-shell-extensions
cd gnome-shell-extensions
./autogen.sh --prefix $HOME/gnome-shell/install/
make && make install
This will only install 4 of the extensions but if you want all of them to be built then replace that command with the below one.

cd ~/gnome-shell/source
git clone http://git.gnome.org/browse/gnome-shell-extensions
cd gnome-shell-extensions
/configure --prefix $HOME/gnome-shell/install/ --enable-extensions=all
make && make install
Although we can learn a lot about GNU/Linux by using the command-line but, as the time goes on, let's hope that these extensions will be available through the official repositories in other major GNU/Linux distributions which makes the installation process much easier, and bug free as well.

27 comments:

Charles said...

I'm having problems trying to install the gnome-shell-extensions cleanly on my Ubuntu setup. Your instructions are truncated so I can't tell if what I have been doing is identical or not. When I run autogen.sh I get an error saying that gnome-desktop-3.0 is not found.

Any help would be appreciated.

Gayan said...

Hi Charles...

Try this...

cd
git clone http://git.gnome.org/browse/gnome-shell-extensions
cd gnome-shell-extensions
./autogen.sh --prefix=/usr
make && sudo make install

Charles said...

Hi Gayan, worked like a charm. A couple GLIB warnings but now I no longer get "User themes extension not enabled" in gnome-tweak-tools.

Do you follow "Musings of an OS Plumber"? If not check this out, I think you'll love it: http://blog.fpmurphy.com/2011/04/gnome-shell-theme-selector-preview.html

He's got a working shell theme selector, that thanks to you, now works on my system.

I'm beginning to think that gnome 3 + synapse = heaven.

Many thanks to the both of you.

Gayan said...

OK... I'll sure check it out brother. Not a huge fan of themes and stuff, but "gnome 3 + synapse = heaven"... yep agreed :P

I actually would be moving from the Ubuntu Natty to FC15 (when they release), although still use the UBUTHU 11.04... you know I gotta keep posting :P but think when considering few things... I like FC a bit more. Anyway, thanks and glad it worked.

Charles said...

I keep trying others but seem to always come back to Ubuntu & derivatives.

Thanks again Gayan.

Brian said...

ya iagree gnome 3 + synapse = heaven it pulls all together very nicly :-)

Gayan said...

@Brian,

You Gnome Geek! :P.

Vidauri said...

i dont know how to show the dock panel, can somebody help me? :$

Gayan said...

@Vidauri,

Hi...

If you used the first command then it'll only build the first 4 "extensions".

I can't remember which command I myself used... but, you can use the below command (2nd command in the post as well) which will build all the extensions (currently 9). Here's the command and good luck.

cd ~/gnome-shell/source
git clone http://git.gnome.org/browse/gnome-shell-extensions
cd gnome-shell-extensions
/configure --prefix $HOME/gnome-shell/install/ --enable-extensions=all
make && make install

Vidauri said...

sorry for bother, but i still can't see the dock pannel in my desktop, i alreary did what you said but i tink that it didn't work :S

Anonymous said...

hi, i've folow the steps just like you show in the instrucction but still can't show the dock panel o r aniting else

Charles said...

You can also skip "make install" and place the extensions, retaining the directory name, into ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions so you can control the installation. Personally I copy them all, compress each folder individually, then delete the folder of the extension(s) I don't want to use. That way it's just a matter of extracting them, then alt+f2, type r, then enter to activate them.

Gayan said...

Well in that case, I don't know what to say. But you might be interested on what my friend Charles has to say... his tip may spare you the trouble (see the above comment).

If that doesn't work for you... then have you tried creating a new user account and logging into that... and also, depending on whether you have installed other dock applications... might also affect the g3 shell dock (not sure about that though).

Again please follow the above tips from Charles.. good luck.

Charles said...

A tool to help debug your extensions is the "Looking Glass". From your desktop, alt+f2, lg, press enter. (to exit, hit Esc while in the "Evaluator" tab. Hope this helps.

Gayan said...

Thanks Charles :)

Charles said...

Happy to help my friend. :)

vaikz said...

Help error on make:
make[2]: Entering directory `/home/vaikz/gnome-shell-extensions/extensions/dock'
Makefile:434: *** missing separator. Stop.
make[2]: Leaving directory `/home/vaikz/gnome-shell-extensions/extensions/dock'
make[1]: *** [all-recursive] Error 1
make[1]: Leaving directory `/home/vaikz/gnome-shell-extensions/extensions'
make: *** [all-recursive] Error 1

Gayan said...

@vaikz,

Well that's a compile error, beyond my help :/.

But since it's the dock that seems to giving you the trouble, you can skip it and try installing the rest, try the below command

cd ~/gnome-shell/source
git clone http://git.gnome.org/browse/gnome-shell-extensions
cd gnome-shell-extensions
/configure --prefix $HOME/gnome-shell/install/ --enable-extensions=alternate-tab alternative-status-menu auto-move-windows user-theme xrandr-indicator
make && make install

Budubuntu said...

great blog man..

Gayan said...

@Budubuntu,

Thank you :D.

Allu2 said...

For the 434 error you need to manually edit the MakesFiles in the folders where the error occures and add "tab" infront of line 434,

cheers

Gayan said...

@Allu2,

If this works... then really, thank you :D.

Allu2 said...

These were the files i had to add tab in to to get it compile :)

extensions/dock/Makefile
extensions/auto-move-windows/Makefile
extensions/native-window-placement/Makefile
extensions/user-theme/Makefile

might speed up the process a bit when you don't have to "make" between fixing the files to see the next one :)

Gayan said...

@Allu2,

Thank you.

Max Ludwig said...

PLEASE use checkinstall, not make install.

Thanks for the article.

Murphy said...

hi i have ubuntu 11.10 and i have latest gnome shell . i opend advanced settings. and click shell extensions there is no options to enable it. please help me. and i have installed user theme extension allso

Gayan said...

@Murphy,

Hi,

Make sure you're logged into Gnome-Shell desktop because these extensions only work under Gnome-Shell, not the Unity desktop.

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