Into the (open) source


5 GNOME Shell extensions that will make your life easier


This article was written in the 2014, there may have been some developments in the subject matter.
If in doubt please leave a comment in the bottom of the article.


After all hiding from the blog, a mouthful broad appeal is just what we want. I did not want to shoot too high, so I opted for "facilitate" rather than "change". Also because there is little change, not?

Today we see how to speed up some operations using extensions Gnome Shell. But first, a clarification for those who do not know what is Gnome or Gnome Shell.

Unlike other operating systems, in GNU/Linux the back-end and the GUI are two separate things. A computer that mounts Linux can and should work even without interface graphic (this is. web server, mail server, firewall, ftp server, media server, etc..). It is not mandatory so that all users must rely on the same GUI. Would it be possible for some users to use two different graphical interfaces at the same time using the same computer. Stuff out of this world.

GNOME Shell is one of the possible graphical interfaces (aside from WHERE, XFCE, Unity, LXDE and many others). The chose years ago to the possibility of using, the ease and immediacy. In addition, the latest versions seem to be designed to provide a good experience all round: it ai desktop, sia ai tablet.

Taken from

GNOME Shell provides the basic functions of the graphical interface, such as switching between windows, launch applications or viewing notifications. It takes advantage of the possibilities provided by modern graphics hardware and integrates innovative user interface concepts to provide a user experience all the more friendly. GNOME Shell is the defining technology of the GNOME User Experience 3.

Many users do not know that GNOME 3 as in the past allows'installation of extensions not included in the official releases of GNOME. Install is as simple as a click, are listed on the site Clicking on the extension to access the relevant page and a switch at the top right informs us if the extension is already installed or not.

The switcher shows that the extension is installed

The switch shows that the extension is installed

If the extension is not installed yet we can click on the switch as shown in the image and install it in a click.

I'm using some for some time with great satisfaction. That's what:

1. Drop Down Terminal


It is a terminal to be activated by default with retractable key "\", or at least one above the key "TAB". Some will remember an article about my old "tilda", a program that was more or less the same thing. For any eventuality, in any virtual desktop we are, pressing the appropriate key (however configurable) a terminal will open pop-top. You can not customize almost anything, Also the background is not fully opaque but black (the developer is working on it). The extension itself is very useful despite missing customizations. Vote: 8.

2. Removable Drive Menù


This small extension will appear on the top bar next to the volume buttons and user settings. It allows you to open resources assembled by the computer (CD, memorie USB, partitions, file TrueCrypt, etc..) con un click. Unfortunately, is not yet possible "disassemble" the resources available. Despite this, I find it is a simple extension, functional and undeveloped. Avoid opening the file manager and then select the resource (un click in meno). Vote: 7.5.

3. Remove Accessibility

GNOME Shell is also oriented to visually impaired o ai Blind. These categories of users need special software included in GNOME by default to read the screen. I'm talking about "screen magnifier" (magnifying glass), the "screen reader" (a synthesizer reads the words on the screen), programs Speech Recognition in different languages, supporto a alternative input devices, etc.. These applications are Fundamental to a blind user, but it certainly will not help the user who sees us well. Despite this, the button "accessibility" is always present in the upper panel. This extension simply hides the button, making more room for other extensions that can occupy the s panel. Vote 10. The rating is so high because you can not improve further this extension.

4. Coverflow Alt-Tab


This extension is for nostalgic Microsoft systems. It allows you to switch from one window to another by typing "Old" - "Tab". This combination already runs on all Linux Desktop Environment, the extent it change the graphics in stile "Aero". Unlike older Compiz effects, this extension includes only two animations that can be activated from the preferences menu, both inspired by the Microsoft systems. It's a good idea, but I do not think it is necessary to copy the effects of Microsoft, or better ... there may also be, but we try to be original. Vote: 6,5 (I should put 4 to have been copied from the rich companion).

5. NetSpeed


NetSpeed ​​is one of those extensions that seems pointless when you install, then you just can not do without it. It allows you to monitor upload and download of your device. Divide the traffic interface (wlan, eth) and wraps upload and download. It is certainly an extension that uses more space than the other on the top bar, but I understand that it is impossible to make him occupy less, or would stop to see the counters, Should I uninstall and then become as visually impaired "Remove Accessibility". Vote: 9.5.

Obviously the available extensions are lots of, exists for the Weather, the calculator, it shutdown pc in un click, i timer and countless other. These are the five most successful in making a small difference in my daily experience. Your E le?


I keep this blog as a hobby by 2009. I am passionate about graphic, technology, software Open Source. Among my articles will be easy to find music, and some personal thoughts, but I prefer the direct line of the blog mainly to technology. For more information contact me.