Desktop Linux: The GNOME 3 Release Series Extensions: Page 2

The GNOME Shell Extensions may be just what the Linux desktop needs to end its user revolt.


You Can't Detect What You Can't See: Illuminating the Entire Kill Chain

Posted September 11, 2012

Bruce Byfield

(Page 2 of 3)

As in GNOME 2, users can choose between a Binary, Analog, or Fuzzy clock, as well as a Battery Indicator and CPU Temperature Indicator.

Should you choose, you can also add a Trash Button, a Force Quit button, a Calculator, a Terminal, and a Show Desktop Button, all items that were standards on GNOME 2 panels.

Other applet-like extensions are new, including Area Screenshot, and the self-explanatory Unit Converter and Currency Converter. Even if you are not one of the numerous fans of GNOME 2, you may find some of these useful.

However, if you do prefer GNOME 2, these applets have some major drawbacks. You can't reposition them on the panel, nor can you add custom launchers. Still, they do restore some of the clutter that many users find necessary for efficiency, so they are worth browsing, regardless of your preferences in desktop environments.

GNOME 2 Rises Again

If you want to simulate GNOME 2 on top of the latest GNOME release, GNOME Shell extensions will take you a long way toward your goal.

Probably the first addition you will want to add is GNOME Tweak Tool, which is not included on the extensions site, but allows so much customization of the desktop that you will want it anyway.

In particular, GNOME Tweak Tool restores icons to the desktop, but only files -- if you want to add applications, then make symbolic links and add them to the Desktop folder via the file manager. If all you want is icons, you might want only the toggle switch provided by Desktop Icons Switch.

Returning to the extensions site, you might continue by adding the Frippery Bottom Panel, which includes a task bar and a virtual workspace pager. The workspace pager is basic, allowing you to set only the number of workspaces and the number of rows in which they are displayed on the panel, so you might prefer WorkSpace Indicator instead.

Next, if you want to rid yourself of the overview, the Frippery Applications Menu will remove the Activities button on the top panel and replace it with an Applications menu.

The result is a menu in which sub-menus open directly below their top-level items -- an arrangement that can get cramped, but which you might prefer to switching to the overview for a menu. If you have added a workspace control on the main screen, you may have no use for the overview, although if necessary you can switch to it by pressing Alt+F1.

With these changes, you have most of the basics of GNOME 2. However, you might want to add a few additions, such as the Places Status Indicator (the equivalent of the GNOME 2 Places menu) and Trash button (if another extension hasn't already added the icon for you).

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Tags: Gnome, desktop linux

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