Fedora is my favorite Linux distribution. While many users despise GNOME Desktop Environment, it is one of the many reasons I prefer Fedora over any other Linux distribution.
GNOME Shell has lots of add-ons and plugins for extensibility of the desktop environment. GNOME Shell Extensions range from weather reporting, system monitoring to music player indicators.
While this post assumes you to be using GNOME Shell but if you’re not familiar with what I’m talking about, go to the software repository in your Linux and search for GNOME Shell. Ubuntu users can install it with following commands:
sudo apt-get install gnome-shell sudo apt-get install ubuntu-gnome-desktop
This will install GNOME Desktop alongside default Unity for Ubuntu and you can log into either of them after installation. Once you’ve GNOME Desktop up and running make no delay further and open a terminal to install GNOME Tweak Tool. For Debian based distributions:
sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool
All the extensions for GNOME are available at GNOME Shell Extensions website. Bookmark this link, just in case.
Top GNOME Shell Extensions
So here is the cake you’ve been waiting for, my favorite and most important GNOME Shell Extensions for any GNOME Shell user.
Drop Down Terminal
This is must have extension for users who frequently use terminal and are tired of switching windows. Give the geek within you a reward with this extension. This plugin drops down terminal toggled by a keystroke (the key above tab by default). Sounds exciting? it really is.
Application menu is very useful. What application menu does is changing Activities to Applications in the top bar and nicely categorizing all the apps on your desktop under that menu. This extension is part of Classic Mode and is officially supported by GNOME.
Removable Drive Menu
Removable Drive Menu adds a status menu to the top bar of your desktop with information about removable devices like USB flash drives and external hard disks. These can be accessed and unmounted from the menu.
While most of the extensions fulfil their task by adding some valuable information at the top bar, this extensions work at the message bar. Message bar auto hides and is visible only when a notification arrives or if you intend on peeking into it. System Monitor showing CPU and memory usage in the message tray.
Media Player Indicator
Media Player Indicator allows you to control media players: Rhythmbox, Banshee, Clementine and more. The extension automatically displays active players in the GNOME Shell’s volume menu by default with details like album cover and player controls. It also supports playlists in Banshee.
Weather displays weather information and forecasts in your GNOME shell for one or more locations. You can choose the unit for displaying weather, add or remove cities, change its position in panels and more.
Places Status Indicator
Places Status Indicator adds a menu along with activities in the top bar in GNOME Shell for quickly navigating places like Documents, Pictures, Music and other directories, inserted devices and bookmarks in the system. This extension is part of Classic Mode and is officially supported by GNOME.
Sensors shows information about sensors in your panel like CPU temperature, hard disk temperature, voltage and fan RPM. The extension uses sensors from lm sensors package to read temperature for different CPU cores and adapters, voltage data and fan speed.
Net Speed extension as the name suggests displays internet speed for your WiFi or ethernet in the panel for download and upload.
Skype Integration extension integrates Skype features in the GNOME Shell like GNOME Shell notification style for Skype notifications, search provider to find Skype contacts, add Skype menu button that displays the current online presence. Features include ability to change online presence in the top bar menu, mute microphone during calls within the top bar menu and an indicator to the top bar icon for missed chat messages and calls.
This is a simple extension which displays Numlock and Capslock status on the panel. With Lock Keys, you can turn on or off the Numlock and Capslock.
These are some of the best extensions available for GNOME Shell. While most of the extensions are updated by the developers with the release of latest versions of GNOME, however, if any extension is not working correctly, there can be a compatibility issue.
While these are not the only best extensions, but are certainly my favorite ones. If you have installed any of the above, please share your experience with them in comments or if I’ve missed any extension, feel free to post in the comments along with the link for GNOME Shell on Fedora, Ubuntu or any other Linux operating system distribution.