Edit: Read also five most downloaded gnome shell extensions.

This is a list of five must have gnome shell extensions. You can find the commands below on how to install each extensions. After installing you need to restart gnome shell (type alt + f2 and press ‘r’) or logout and back again for the extension to start working.

Edit: With the awesome (gnome) shell live extension enabling and disabling you do not need to restart for the shell to working.

1) Alternative status menu
This is one of the most important and immediate changes required in the new gnome shell. The user menu have only a ‘suspend’ shown by default; no restart, no shut-down, no hibernate. It is more funny if you have only one account in your desktop/laptop. You will get options like logout and switch user in the menu but still no shut-down or restart.

Except the gnome decision makers, everyone else (I guess that includes many gnome developers) is using the alternative status menu which makes sense if you have at least basic common sense. This adds the hibernate and shut-down options back to the menu. No more Google searching or pressing if you want to shut-down your computer. You can save countless amount of energy by not pressing unnecessary keys to accomplish basic tasks.

Type the following command in terminal to get it installed.

yum install gnome-shell-extensions-alternative-status-menu

A rather small name for the extension!!!!

In all operating systems, you can also install this extension by going here and clicking on the on/off button on the page.

I use a slightly modified menu that do not have suspend and switch user options.

2) Alternative alt-tab
This extension provides an alternative alt-tab that is window based. The default alt-tab in Gnome shell is application based. Multiple windows of same application are grouped together. If you want separate entries for each windows, then you could use this extension.


Type in terminal

yum install gnome-shell-extensions-alternate-tab

In all operating systems, you can also install this extension by going here and clicking on the on/off button on the page.

I rather start to like the default alt-tab. You could change between windows of the same application by clicking on alt + (the key above the tab key in your keyboard). If you want to change between different windows then use alt + tab keys. This is a cool feature to have. So this may not be a must have extension in the future for me.

3) Places menu
This extension adds a nice new menu to the right hand system indicator area at the top panel. The menu contain your home and favourite locations including the locations of devices connected. This is a very nice and useful feature.


Type in terminal

yum install gnome-shell-extensions-places-menu

The only concern here is the menu does not contain icons from the default symbolic icon set. So, this makes this menu feels like out of place in the otherwise beautiful gnome top panel. Hopefully this will get solved in the future versions.

In all operating systems, you can also install this extension by going here and clicking on the on/off button on the page.

4) Weather extension
The weather is an important part of our life and I like to keep an eye on the weather conditions. There is an extension which helps you to have a weather notification on the panel itself. This extension adds a notification and a menu next to the dateNtime menu at the center of the panel. This is a rather new extension and still have some rough edge to it.


Unfortunately there is no way you can install this using a simple terminal command. This extension is hosted in git; get it from here. You could either use git core to get this installed or rather download the folder to your computer. Extract the content and copy the folder ‘weather@venemo.net’ inside to the /usr/share/gnome-shell/extensions folder.

It is not yet available in the extensions website.

5) No a11y extension
One of the nuisances of the gnome shell is the accessibility menu that is always visible in the panel. For a normal user this menu does not serve any purpose at all. If you are one of those user who gets irritated by the menu and want to remove this from the panel, use this extension.


To install get the noa11y.tar.gz from here. Extract the contents and copy the folder inside to the /usr/share/gnome-shell/extensions folder.

In all operating systems, you can also install this extension by going here and clicking on the on/off button on the page.

44 responses »

  1. Joost says:

    I installed all the available shell extensions using yum. I did logout/in, even rebooted, but none of them are working.

    Then I tried this gnome tweak tool to enable them:
    But no extensions listed there..

    Then I found this page:

    It appears that the version of the extensions and gnome-shell must match, but they dont even though they are both installed by yum.

    # rpm -q gnome-shell

    Extensions are kept in subfolders under /usr/share/gnome-shell/extensions
    There you will find files named “metadata.json” for each extension.

    Change the line that reads:
    “shell-version”: [ “3.0.1” ],
    “shell-version”: [ “3.0” ],

    Then they work for all gnome 3.0.x versions.

  2. Tim says:

    Thank you so much! I have been searching everywhere for a solution to why the extensions aren’t working.

  3. […] I am not talking about the weather extension that is doing the rounds for the time being. This is not an extension. This is part of the core […]

  4. StephenH says:

    Thank you! I did not install all of them, only the alternative status, the places, and followed the instructions for installing noa11y. You have just given me the cure for some of the irritations that I have had with Gnome Shell.

  5. […] it happens, a number of extensions are already available to put back some of the functionality that is missing in GNOME 3. Fedora, […]

  6. Eynar says:

    Do you know how to get back the extract here feature in nautilus? I’m missing this a lot.

    • vjjustin says:

      You should open the default download location of your browser. If its firefox, open the menu -> downloads, and from the list if items, select the archive and right click select open containing folder.

      If you open firefox preferences menu, you could find the option that says ‘save downloads to’. That is the directory, your files will be saved to.

  7. Marcelo says:

    alternative-status-menu » GREAT!

    extensions-places-menu » Nice!

  8. kurtdriver says:

    How in the world do I get the extension from github? The documentation, both online and on my computer is useless and very involved. At no point does it say anything about how to download a file someone linked to. Could someone please post the correct switches to download the weather extension without having to setup a repository?
    Thanks, sign me “Feeling like a newb”.

    • vjjustin says:

      There is a ‘downloads’ button in the github page that is linked from here. Its not easily recognisable and is on the righthand side of the screen midway from top to bottom.
      You click on it and download the archive to your computer.

  9. Gumby says:

    Try something like this:

    $ sudo yum install git
    $ cd ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/
    $ git clone https://github.com/simon04/gnome-shell-extension-weather.git gnome-shell-extension-weather

    This should pull down the contents from the git repo and put it in a directory named “gnome-shell-extension-weather”.

    • Marcelo says:

      I can’t install “gnome-shell-extension-weather” with the procedure you mentioned.

      I restarted gnome-shell but extension-weather is not loaded.

      • Nils Philippsen says:

        This repository isn’t directly usable as an extension. I guess you need to download it to a different place, build and install it in your private extension folder.

  10. Can Masagi says:

    I have installed every gnome-shell-extensions from Fedora repo….
    Something I love so much is Gnome Tweak Tool for Gnome 3… it’s such a great tool to tweak latest awesome Desktop Gnome 3…

    I use gnome shell and have a feel of good old classic gnome at once…. with this gnome tweak tool. It also can install extensions and theme….

  11. […] to make it a complete replacement for your good old Gnome 2.x. For the time being you can use these extensions to get some functionalities […]

  12. V. Srinivas says:

    Good write up. I am not using G3 right now( I am on debian testing ). But, u have answered the most arghs!!!! related to G3. Many people using G3 would heave a sigh of relief with ur guide. excellent and to the mark.

  13. […] Hier der Link zu einem englischsprachigen Blog mit den „Five must have Gnome Extensions“. […]

  14. […] gnome shell顶部面板老是显示“通用性设置”,这对大多数同学来说作用不大,大家可以使用该扩展来移除“通用性设置”图标。如下图: 安装 需下载noa11y.tar.gz ,节约文件,复制文件到/usr/share/gnome-shell/extensions目录下即可,然后重新加载gnome shell。 提示,上述扩展安装后,不会马上生效,大家需按住Alt+F2,输入 r ,重新加载gnome shell方可。 —-消息来源justinstories […]

  15. Jim Cornette says:

    I use weather applets a lot to track weather conditions for our planned destinations of travel and do not care much for those making GNOME featureless.
    Hopefully whoever is deciding on how not to make GNOME valuable for users with versatility can get another job destroying another application or envirinment.
    I am starting to check out the other desktops and am not now satisfied with GNOME.

  16. […] Five Must Have GNOME Shell Extensions — If you’re running Fedora 15 with GNOME 3, this list will come in […]

  17. Anonymous says:

    OMG it was really useful, I think I’m going to use them all (;
    Thank you!

  18. Anonymous says:

    As it doesn’t work straight away, you may want to include a tip, press Alt+F2 and then write “r”, press enter and the shell will restart (useful for seeing the changes, like with the Alternative status menu)

  19. david says:

    Thanks so much. Every one of them have been very useful for me.

  20. Anonymous says:

    The second step, the Alternative alt-tab made my system unestable since a while ago! I don’t know who is to blame, if gnome 3 or the extension app, but if you have any problem, just unistall it changing the “install” bit with “remove”, so it’d be:
    yum remove gnome-shell-extensions-alternate-tab

    Hope this helped someone!

  21. fpmurphy says:

    noa11y.tar.gz is now noa11y-1.0.tar.gz. It is downloadable at http://fpmurphy.com/gnome-shell-extensions

  22. The Places extension causes my gnome shell to crash when switching users. At least, that seems to be the case. Since removing it on a couple of systems I haven’t noticed the crashes any longer. Unfortunately, I really miss the functionality. Otherwise I quite like gnome shell these days, although I do find it frustrating going from my work computer (Ubuntu gnome 2) to home desktop/laptop/server (Fedora 15 gnome 3).

  23. […] Justin Stories: Five must have Gnome shell extensions for Fedora 15 […]

  24. milad says:

    Is there any extension available to add a world time list, to the time and date menu of Gnome3?

  25. […] gnome shell顶部面板老是显示“通用性设置”,这对大多数同学来说作用不大,大家可以使用该扩展来移除“通用性设置”图标。如下图: 安装 需下载noa11y.tar.gz ,节约文件,复制文件到/usr/share/gnome-shell/extensions目录下即可,然后重新加载gnome shell。 提示,上述扩展安装后,不会马上生效,大家需按住Alt+F2,输入 r ,重新加载gnome shell方可。 —-消息来源justinstories […]

  26. MsV says:

    I missed an extension to dock applications to panel…
    I yesterday tried to write it:

  27. General Lee says:

    Anybody know how to switch the dasher panel and dynamic windows view. I think the developers must left-handed. It’s good to change the hotspot but you still have to mouse over to the left t start an application

  28. Awesome content. I got most of the things i wanted. How do i remove suspend switch user etc just like the way you’ve got yours tweaked. I don’t want them either. I am referring to the first modification 🙂 yum install gnome-shell-extensions-alternative-status-menu ?

  29. Bob Jones says:

    How do I install the weather extension? I downloaded the folder from github, read the readme, saw “Make sure you have the `libglib2.0-dev` package” but cannot find any libglib packages in Yumex. And sure enough, I did get the GLIB_GSETTINGS error.

    Then I run the command mentioned and I see “Makefile:425: *** missing separator. Stop.” when make stops.

    How did you get it to work?

  30. Justin the extension gnome-shell-extensions-alternate-tab didnt worked fine for me.
    I installed it and BOOM… every time that I used “alt tab” Gnome breaks down… do you know any solutions or workarounds?

    I used the 1st e 3rd extensions. This is working

  31. Guy says:

    Pretty nice work altogether, but how did you manage to remove the switch user option from the menu ?

  32. Marko says:

    My friend the idea of accessibility icon is that impared users could use yours or anybody else computer with easy access to their accessibility options. Using computer that is not accessible for ill users is more iritating that 16x6px icon for healthy users 😉

  33. jawad al says:

    Its working properly and easy to use

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