GNOME 3 Tweaks
We covered essential tweaks to Fedora 16 on page three. But those were specifically intended to overcome the limitations of Fedora, not its GNOME 3 interface. On this page we'll cover some of the ways to customize the GNOME Shell, ideally making it more efficient.
One of our complaints about GNOME 3 is its lack of customization options. The Personal section of System Settings only lets you change the desktop wallpaper. You can do a lot more than that, though.
The GNOME Tweak Tool is the way to customize GNOME 3. This application can be installed via Add/Remove Software. Just search for “tweak” and scroll down until you see A Tool to customize advanced GNOME 3 options.
Once GNOME Tweak Tool is installed, you can find it in the Applications side of the Activities Overview under the the heading Advanced Settings.
GNOME Tweak Tool lets you modify the desktop, fonts, shell, shell extensions, theme, and windows (essentially everything that System Settings leaves out, and then some). The left pane of the GNOME Tweak Tools serves to switch between these sections.
You can score yourself a functional desktop under the Desktop section by checking Have file manager handle the desktop. From there you can drop shortcuts to the computer, home directory, network servers, and trash back on the desktop.
You can change default font, document font, monospace font, and window title font in the Fonts section. You can also adjust the scaling factor, hinting, and anti-aliasing.
The Shell section lets you show the date or seconds in the Clock and show the “week date” in the calendar. You can also change the arrangement of the title bar buttons. This enables, amazingly enough, the missing maximize and minimize buttons! The laptop lid can be configured to taste, too.
The Shell Extensions page is where additional extensions can be installed and activated/deactivated.
In the Theme section, you can add icons to menus and buttons, as well as change the cursor, keybinding, icon, GTK+, window, and shell themes.
Window behavior like double-, middle-, and right-click on the title bar is modifiable, along with the focus mode.
With the GNOME Tweak Tool installed, let's look at some of the powerful shell extensions available for GNOME 3.