Sunday, July 17, 2016

gnome shell in 16.04

Not everyone likes GNOME Shell, but it's one of my favorites. I like GNOME 3 a lot better than the old GNOME 2.

I added GNOME Shell (version 3.18) to Ubuntu 16.04 by adding the gnome-shell package. A few shots and a little info:

I like GNOME Shell without any extensions, but I downloaded the gnome-shell-extensions package from the Ubuntu Xenial repos. That gave me these extensions (as viewed from GNOME Tweak Tool):

I tried the Workspace indicator extension. It works fine; it sits on the top panel, and with the cursor hovering over the icon, the user can switch workspaces with the mouse scroll wheel. Alternatively, clicking on the icon brings up a workspace list:

I decided that I don't need Workspace indicator because I'm used to quickly switching between workspaces from the Activities overview:

Applications menu is another extension that looks useful; it replaces the Activities button with an Applications button on the top panel:

One that wasn't included with the gnome-shell-extensions package, but that's found at the GNOME Shell Extensions site: Dash to Dock, one of the extensions mentioned in the OMG! Ubuntu! article, "5 Best GNOME Shell Extensions for Ubuntu".

I'm good with GNOME Shell's many default options for launching apps. Of course, one can always launch apps from gnome-terminal, or by bringing up the Run dialog box with the Alt+F2 key combo:

Or there's the Dash dock in the Activities overview:

Currently running apps are indicated by a blue line under the icon in the Dash.

Or, two or three letters of an app name typed into the Applications overview's search box quickly brings up what you're looking for:

Finally, it's really no big deal to simply click on the Dash's "Show Applications" button:

From here, you can view frequently used apps, or all apps. Under "All", I've got only three "pages" of apps, all in alphabetical order. Not at all difficult to find any particular app. You can use the scroll wheel to see more apps on the other "pages":

One thing I don't understand is why dconf-editor and gnome-tweak-tool are not included by default. GNOME's System Settings is nice, but sadly incomplete:

gnome-tweak-tool and dconf-editor provide many additional tools:

One last note: I like the Variety wallpaper changer for handling my desktop backgrounds. Once installed and set up, Variety parks an icon in the hidden tray at the hotspot at the lower-left corner of the desktop screen. Clicking on that icon brings up the Variety menu:

Variety's quite simple to set up, and works great with GNOME Shell:

GNOME Shell is excellent for me, even without any GNOME Shell extensions in use. The GNOME Shell paradigm agrees with me. They mostly keep things simple, which is nice at times. I have no problem getting around the desktop and getting work done. Not everybody's cup of tea, but as they say, "Linux is about Choice." Enjoy!

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