Tech Ubuntu

GNOME Shell extensions, the Mozilla way

by  posted on Sunday, 04 December 2011 11:42

GNOME now offers shell extensions the mozilla way. You can download and install these extensions as you do with the Firefox Addons. Gnome has recently launched the shell extensions website, bracing itself to compete with Unity desktop.

The will become the one-stop place to look for all available extensions from here on . These extensions allows you to customise the look and feel of the Gnome desktop the way you wanted. The site, currently in development, is compatible with Firefox. Support for more browsers will be offered soon.

Around 40 GNOME shell extensions have already been listed in

What is a GNOME shell extension


GNOME Shell extensions are small pieces of code written by third party developers that modify the way GNOME works. Since these small pieces of codes are created, maintained and supported by third party developers, end users often find it difficult to find the right extensions.

The Advantage and Security

The also ensures security to the end users. Till now, the users have to install the extensions manually and do not have the opportunity to learn the security risks posed by the extensions. The GNOME, by launching a site for Shell Extensions, has now come to the rescue of the users. The extensions in the site are published after checking for potential security risks and bad behaviour.

"All extensions uploaded to the site are carefully reviewed for malicious behavior before they are made available for download. This process of code review is similar to the process for Firefox add-ons submitted to," according to the GNOME developers.

The team also hinted that "Some features first implemented as extensions might find their way into future versions of GNOME."

Users can also report if they encounter problems with an extension, such as a crash, using using the "Help! It didn't work!" link on the extension's page.

GNOME Shell Vs Unity

With the GNOME launching its extensions site, it has made it clear of its assured support for the wishes of users. The extensions allow the user to tweak the default GNOME desktop to their liking and GNOME makes it possible through with its shell extension site.

On the other hand, Unity is yet to come up such a facility. Through there are talks of adding Lens/scope section to Ubuntu Software centre, a clear indication is yet to come.

The recent developments in the Linux desktop environment, however, assure a great desktop experience in the Ubuntu/Linux world. We have to wait some more time to see the full picture of the recent changes in Ubuntu, Unity and GNOME.


Ramesh Elamathi

Ubuntu enthusiast. Creator and Editor of

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