So you want to install GNOME Extensions on Ubuntu, but you’re not sure how? Well, we’re gonna show you!

GNOME Shell extensions make it easy to reshape the GNOME Shell experience to suit your needs

Just like web browser add-ons, GNOME Shell extensions make it easy to extend, adjust and reshape the GNOME Shell experience to suit your needs.

This could be as basic as adding a weather indicator to the panel or as dramatic as revamping the whole desktop into a single-panel, Windows-style set-up.

Point is: whatever the task, there’s (probably) a GNOME Shell extension that can do it!

How to Install GNOME Extensions on Ubuntu

The good news: it is easy to install GNOME Extensions on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, 19.10 and above. To install GNOME extensions on Ubuntu you’ll need three things:

  1. A compatible web browser, e.g., Firefox, Google Chrome, Vivaldi
  2. A free web browser extension
  3. The chrome-gnome-shell package from the repos

The web browser extension and “native connector” handle integration between your desktop shell and the extensions repository at extensions.gnome.org.

When all three parts combine you can go to the visit the GNOME Extensions website, find an add-on you like, and hit ‘Install’ to install it! You can also manage, adjust and remove GNOME extensions the same website. 

Step 1: Install the Browser Add-on

The first thing you need to do is install the GNOME Shell Integration extension for your web-browser.

This (free, open source) extension is available for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome (including Chromium-based browsers like Vivaldi).

You can install it from the respective browser’s add-on stores:

Install the ‘GNOME Shell Integration’ Chrome Extension Install the GNOME Shell Integration Firefox Add-on

Step 2: Install the Host Connector

With the browser extension installed you next need to install the native connector package on Ubuntu.

If you do not install this package you will see the following error when you visit the GNOME Extensions website:-

Although gnome shell integration extension is running, native host connector is not detected

If you’re on Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or above you can install the ‘chrome-gnome-shell’ package direct from the archives by clicking this button:-

Click to install ‘chrome-gnome-shell’ on Ubuntu

Do you prefer to do things through the Terminal? You can install chrome-gnome-shell on Ubuntu 18.04 and above using the command line:

sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell

NB: For Arch, Gentoo, Fedora and manual build instructions head over to the official project wiki page.

Step 3: Restart Your Browser

When both host connector and browser extensions are installed you should restart your browser to make sure that all of the changes take effect and connect correctly.

—But that’s it!

Head to the GNOME extensions website in your browser and click on any extension you see. You should now see an “on/off” toggle clearly displayed on extension listings:

gnome-extensions-install-button

Slide the toggle to the ‘on’ position to install the extension on your desktop. You’ll see an on-screen modal dialog asking you to confirm. Accept, and the extension will download, unpack, and install on your system.

How to Manage GNOME Extensions

gnome shell firefox screenshot

You can remove GNOME extensions, access extension settings, and update GNOME extensions from this GNOME Extensions website too.

Just head to the extensions.gnome.org/local page to see a list of installed extensions with the following options available: –

  • To disable a GNOME extension slide its toggle to ‘off’
  • To remove a GNOME extension click the red ‘x’ icon
  • To update a GNOME extension click the green arrow icon

Note: you won’t see a ‘green arrow icon’ if there is no update available.

How To
#chrome #gnome extensions #ubuntu basics #vivaldi