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GNOME Shell Extensions A-L

Fedora 16 And GNOME Shell: Tested And Reviewed

Many of GNOME Shell's limitations can be overcome by utilizing extensions. Enable or disable them through the Shell Extensions page in the GNOME Tweak Tool.

Extensions are user-generated add-ons for the GNOME Shell. They're found in a variety of places and packaged in several different ways, including in the software repos. Open Add/Remove Software and search for “shell-extension.”

GNOME Shell Extensions InstallationGNOME Shell Extensions Installation

You should now see 33 packages that all start with gnome-shell-extension. Twenty-five of these packages are actual usable extensions. Let's go over those extensions that appear in the GNOME Tweak Tool.


The AlternateTab extension replaces the new Application Switcher with a classic Alt+Tab window switcher. Upon first use of the AlternateTab extension, you are given a choice between All & Thumbnails or Workspace & Icon mode.

AlternateTab Extension - First Use ChoiceAlternateTab Extension - First Use Choice

All & ThumbnailsAll & ThumbnailsWindows & IconsWindows & Icons

Alternative Status Menu

The Alternative Status Menu extension adds the Hibernate and Power Off entries to the end of the User Status menu.

Default Status MenuDefault Status MenuAlternative Status Menu ExtensionAlternative Status Menu Extension

Applications Menu

Adds a traditional categorized applications menu to the left side of the Panel.

Applications Menu ExtensionApplications Menu Extension

Auto Move Windows

The Auto Move Windows extension allows the user to assign applications to any workspace. This extension turns out to be tricky to use. There is no graphical wizard for assigning applications to workspaces. Instead, open the Terminal and enter the following code snippet:

gsettings set application-list "['APPLICATION_NAME.desktop:WORKSPACE_NUMBER']"

Replace APPLICATION_NAME with the working command for the desired application (firefox, for example). Also replace WORKSPACE_NUMBER with the desired workspace you want the application to open on (2, for example). You end up with:

gsettings set application-list "['firefox.desktop:2']"

This forces Firefox to open on workspace number two.


Enables the Search Overview to do simple math.

Calculator ExtensionCalculator Extension

CPU Temperature Indicator

In order to enable this extension, the "lm_sensors" package needs to be installed. Simply search for it in Add/Remove Software. Enabled, this extension crashed our test system, requiring us to disable it before logging in. Ostensibly, it adds a CPU temperature reading to the Panel indicators.


The lack of a modern on-screen dock is by far the most complained about issue affecting the GNOME Shell. The Dock extension rectifies this with a dock on the right side of the screen.

The Dock extension works exactly like the Dash section of the Activities Overview. All pinned favorites from Dash are duplicated in the Dock. Open, unpinned applications appear underneath the pinned favorites. All open applications, pinned or not, receive a gray box around their icon. The foreground application receives an extra white outline surrounding the gray box.

Dock ExtensionDock Extension

Unfortunately, the Dock extension is auto-hide, with no apparent way to change that or move it to another edge of the screen. While the Dock extension's task manager isn't as feature-complete as what you get in Windows 7, OS X, KDE, or Unity, it does provide basic quick-launch/window list functionality.


Adds a Copy/Paste history indicator to the Panel.

HistoryManager Prefix Search

Allow the PgUp and PgDn keys to cycle through history in the Run Command window (Alt+F2).


The icon-manager extension allows you to edit the Panel indicators using dconf-editor.

Input-Method Status Indicator

Adds a keyboard indicator to the Panel for fast access to keyboard options, including languages.

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