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The best GNOME shell extensions

Topik
I'm a developer and tech enthusiast with a strong passion for technology. I have experience with frontend work with personal projects and client work.
・6 min read

Last updated April 19th, 2021

Extensions help fill in the hole of customization and functionality left by GNOME. More is being added with every update, but there is still a lot that isn't there. Below are my favorite GNOME shell extensions that I use with daily with my system. I will provide links and note what versions it is compatible with. The list is not in any particular order.

A word on compatibility: Some extensions don't work on the latest versions simply because of the required version in the metadata.json file. Adding any version to this file will make Gnome try to make it work, and sometimes it does. However, since the extension doesn't officially work on said version, things will probably break.

1. Bluetooth Quick Connect

Bluetooth Quick Connect adds a toggle for bluetooth devices in the GNOME bluetooth menu. It works as expected and it’s insane to me that this functionality isn’t built into Gnome.
Works on 40 and 3.38
Gnome Extensions | GitHub

Screenshot of the Bluetooth Quick Connect Gnome extension<br>

2. Clipboard Indicator

Clipboard Indicator is a clipboard manager that allows you to go back in your clipboard history. It sits on the top panel and does its job well.
Works perfectly on 3.38, but the official version seems to be broken on 40. The fork works fine.
Gnome Extensions | GitHub

There is a fork of Clipboard Indicator that aims to add image support and works well on Gnome 40. Check it out here
Screenshot of the Clipboard Indicator Gnome extension<br>

3. Disable Workspace Switcher popup

This is an extension that gets rid of the little overlay that is displayed when you switch workspaces.

The version on extensions.gnome.org works fine on 3.38, but the latest version from the Git repo must be used on 40. It's just one command, it's simple.
Gnome Extensions | GitHub

4. Fullscreen Notifications

The Fullscreen Notifications extension allows notifications to be displayed when a user is in a fullscreen app. It's useful if you still want to get notifications while gaming or something.
Works on 40 and 3.38
Gnome Extensions | GitHub

5. Impatience

Impatience is an extension that allows you to set the global animation speed for the Gnome shell.
Works on 40 and 3.38
Gnome Extensions | GitHub

6. Pixel Saver

Pixel Saver is an extension that removes the title bar and puts the window controls in the top bar when in fullscreen.
Works on 40 and 3.38
Gnome Extensions | GitHub
Screenshot of the Pixel Saver extension<br>

7. Remove Dropdown Arrows

For GNOME 3.x users only. This extension removes the dropdown arrows found in many of the menus in the Gnome 3 top bar.
Works on 3.38, not needed in 40
Gnome Extensions | GitHub

8. Remove Rounded Corners

For GNOME 3.x users only. Removes the rounded corners on the top bar.
Works on 3.38, not needed in 40
Gnome Extensions

9. Top Panel Workspace Scroll

Enables switching of the workspace by scrolling on the top bar.
Works on 40 and 3.38
Gnome Extensions | GitHub

10. Transparent Top Bar

Makes the top bar transparent under certain conditions.
Works on 40 and 3.38
Gnome Extensions | GitHub

11. Middle Click Close

Allows you to close windows in the overview by pressing the middle (scroll) button. The button can be changed.
Works on 40 and 3.38
Gnome Extensions | GitHub

12. App Indicators

This extension adds application icons to the top panel with menus that can serve many different uses. This extension is originally from Ubuntu.
Works on 40 and 3.38
Gnome Extensions | GitHub
Screenshot of the App Indicators extension<br>

13. User Themes

This is a simple extension that allows the shell theme to be changed from the default theme.
Works on 40 and 3.38
Gnome Extensions | Gitlab

14. Notification Banner Extension

This extension moves notifications to the upper right of the screen.
Works on 40 and 3.38
Gnome Extensions | Github
Screenshot of notifications in the upper right

15. Hide Top Bar

This extension auto-hides the top bar. When the mouse is brought near the top, it reappears. If you're like me and like to have a few things on your screen as possible, this is a must use.
Works on 3.38, no 40 support yet
Gnome Extensions | Github

16. DuckDuckGo Search Provider

These extensions allow you to make DuckDuckGo searches from typing in the overview panel.
Works on 40 and 3.38
Gnome Extensions | Github
Screenshot of the DuckDuckGo Search Provider extension<br>

17. Disconnect Wifi

This extension adds a disconnect option to the Wifi menu, and a reconnect option when a network has been disconnected.
Works on 40 and 3.38
Gnome Extensions | Github
Screenshot of the disconnect option<br>
Screenshot of the reconnect option

18. Draw on Your Screen

This extension allows you to draw on your screen using various tools, similar to Windows Markup.
Works on 3.38, no 40 support
Gnome Extensions | Gitlab

19. System Action - Hibernate

This extension adds a hibernate option among the power options in the menu.
Works on 40. Despite what it claims, it does not work on 3.38
Gnome Extensions | Codeberg
Screenshot of the hibernate option in the system menu

20. X11 Gestures

This extension adds Gnome 40's one-to-one gesture functionality to X11. Touchégg must be installed for this to work. Note that it is not as smooth as the default Wayland gestures.
Works on 40 only, as 3.38 does not have built-in gesture support.
Gnome Extensions | Github

20. Screenshot Locations

[Gnome Extensions]
Screenshot Locations enables you to change the location in which screenshots are saved. The fact that this isn't a built-in feature is simply ridiculous.
(https://extensions.gnome.org/extension/1179/screenshot-locations/) | Github

Discussion (4)

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borama profile image
Matouš Borák

Hi, nice list! Just a small correction, the original Clipboard indicator is fixed and already runs nicely under Gnome 40. Cheers!

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topik0 profile image
Topik Author

Have you yourself been able to get it running? Whenever I try to run it on my Gnome 40 machine it gives an error.

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borama profile image
Matouš Borák

Yep I run this on Arch Linux, I only had errors before they added support for Gnome 40, and never since. Have you checked the GitHub issues? Prior to the upgrade, I followed this closely: github.com/Tudmotu/gnome-shell-ext....

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topik0 profile image
Topik Author

Weird. I just tried on a host machine and in a VM, and it doesn't work on either of them. I'll keep an eye on the extension and update the article when it works properly. Results may vary depending on the system.

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