That ace Desktop Cube GNOME extension we wrote about a few months ago? It now supports click & drag directly on the desktop, just like the original Compiz Cube effect that inspired it.

On Ubuntu you do need to disable the DING extension for the drag feature to work, but once you have you can click, hold and then pull the desktop in any direction to ‘deform’ it in to the rotating 3D cube switcher:

an animated gif of the desktop cube gnome extension on ubuntu 21.10
Click and drag to unfold the cube (ignore conky)

If you don’t fancy disabling DING you can also click and drag from any empty part of the top bar. You can also tap super to enter the switcher and drag from any non-interactive bit of the overview:

another animated gif of the 3d desktop cube gnome extension on ubuntu 21.10
It feels terrifically old-school

The latest update to the Desktop Cube extension also features touch-screen support, letting users on touch-equipped hardware to enter and rotate the cube by sliding a finger along the top of the screen (to drag from the panel, in effect).

Other changes including a “cube explosion” feature that scales the cube down when you rotate it vertically; tweaks to the ‘depth variance’ in the overview to make app windows appear on differently level; and removing the ‘unfold-to-desktop’ option since the cuboid workspace is used everywhere.

Pretty neat, in all and a fantastic demonstration of what’s possible on the modern GNOME desktop. Desktop Cube is free, open source software. You can find code on GitHub, or install the extension on any Linux distro using GNOME 40 or above from the GNOME Extensions website.

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