square window corners and rounded window corners with an arrow

Want all your apps to have nicely rounded bottom window corners like GTK4/libadwaita apps have?

There’s — what else? — a GNOME Shell extension that can do it!

Apply titled, the Rounded Window Corners GNOME extension aims to “try to add rounded corners for all windows”. While it works great with GTK3 (as pictured) it also goes out of its way to apply rounded bottom corners to pretty much every app you use, including Electron apps like VSCode.

Animated gif showing ubuntu 22.04 using the rounded window corners GNOME extension
The effect in action – subtle, but shapely

The developer of the extensions uses a shader from Mutter to affect window corners, and notes that the TypeScript support for GJS is powered by gi.ts — which is something I hadn’t heard of before, so that’s neat.

I’ve (sort of) written about a rounded mutter effort before. Alas, that one involved building and installing a patched version of Mutter that wasn’t easy to “undo”.

However, this is a simple GNOME extension you can turn on/off whenever you want.

The extension boasts:

  • Supports GNOME 40 and above
  • Adjust border radius, border, and padding
  • Easily add apps to an exclusion list
  • Customise drop shadow for rounded corner windows
  • Skip GTK4/libadwaita apps (which have native round corners)

One thing I did notice while using this is that window drop shadows appear rather flat towards the top for unfocused and focused apps. This is most noticeable when several apps are layered;

But — and this really impresses me — you can customise drop-shadows via an interactive settings dialog, for both focused and unfocused apps. The amount of controls is vast with options to tweak opacity, spread, blur, and more.

screenshot of rounded window corners gnome shell extension's settings dialogs

I would recommend taking a screenshot of the extension’s default values before you start adjusting any sliders as there’s no easy “reset” option (at the time of writing). Of course, disabling the extension will disable the effect with no unexpected leftovers or quirks.

Other options include a blacklist you’re able to add apps to (this will exclude them from being affected), and there’s a toggle to make the extension affect GTK4/libadwaita apps if you want, though I think they’re fine as they are.

Try it Out!

In summary, Rounded Window Corners GNOME extension gives you a fast and ready way to make all apps on your desktop look nicely rounded all-over, plus advanced controls over the placement, opacity, and spread of drop-shadows.

You can install the extension from the GNOME extension website, and file bugs or contribute code via the GitHub project page.

Give a whirl and let me know what you think of it down in the comments — and remember: finding, installing, managing, and removing GNOME extensions is much, much easier with the Extension Manager app, available from Flathub or in the Ubuntu 22.04 LTS repos.

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