I’m back on Ubuntu with the Gnome 3 desktop environment and here are a few customsations to make it more productive and make moving between Gnome 3 & Windows simple.
Gnome 3 has an extension system that allows third-party developers to add functionality to your desktop.
- Sound Input & Output Device Chooser by kgshank Conveniently switch between speakers & microphones from the status menu.
NoAnnoyance v2 by bjoerndaase Supress “Window is ready” notification, this notification triggers frequently and does not provide any useful information.
Impatience by gfxmonk Faster Gnome animations, including: Show windows side by side, Switch workspaces, Dropdown menu fade-in.
Clipboard Indicator by Tudmotu Add a clipboard history menu to the status bar
There are two ways to modify Gnome’s internal settings, the
dconf-editor graphical application and the
Gnome Terminal - Change Tab #
Set Gnome Terminal’s change tab shortcuts to
Ctrl+Shift+Tab instead of
gsettings set org.gnome.Terminal.Legacy.Keybindings:/org/gnome/terminal/legacy/keybindings/ next-tab '<Control>Tab' gsettings set org.gnome.Terminal.Legacy.Keybindings:/org/gnome/terminal/legacy/keybindings/ prev-tab '<Control><Shift>Tab'
Change Workspace (Windows shortcut) #
Adds the Windows 10 shortcut
Control+Super+Arrow to change virtual desktops
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings switch-to-workspace-right "['<Super><Shift>Page_Up', '<Super><Shift><Alt>Left', '<Control><Shift><Alt>Left', '<Super><Control>Right']" gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.wm.keybindings switch-to-workspace-left "['<Super><Shift>Page_Up', '<Super><Shift><Alt>Left', '<Control><Shift><Alt>Left', '<Super><Control>Left']"
Contextual (Right-click) menu on non-GTK apps #
Apps like Chrome don’t use GNOME’s window manager which means the right-click menu doesn’t include GNOME-specific options, such as “Always Visible on Workspace”, “Always on top”, etc..
The keyboard shortcut to show the right-click menu is
Emoji are a real pain in GNOME 3, a long way from Windows 10’s
Ctrl+; global shortcut.
Here is a AskUbuntu.com answer listing the various ways to use Emoji in GNOME.
The Emoji Selector extension looks perfect, except that it hasn’t been updated for GNOME 40+.
I’ve settled for the Emote app, it provides a global shortcut of
There are instructions to enable the global shortcut on Wayland the instructions
but they didn’t work for me on Ubuntu 21.10… 🤞 for Ubuntu 22.04! Works on Ubuntu 22.04!
Issues and Workarounds #
There inevitably will be bugs and oddities in any desktop environment, here are a few I have encountered. I have to say that GNOME 3 has continually improved since its bumpy initial release back in 2011…
By default GNOME runs on the Wayland display manager, a replacement for X11/Xorg. Due to Wayland’s secure architecture applications wanting to capture the screen need to authenticate directly with Wayland. This requires the
xdg-desktop-portal-gnome package installed.
Firefox supports this protocol and Chrome has an experimental feature found at
On Ubuntu 21.10 this workaround only provides full-screen sharing, it isn’t possible to share individual windows on Wayland.
On Ubuntu 22.04 I found some apps can share specific windows but Chrome is still working on this.
I hope you find these suggestions useful, please let me know if any of these stop working.
Updates & Errata
- Updated 2022-05-10 for GNOME3 42 on Ubuntu 22.04
- Updated 2022-04-18 Contextual menus on non-GTK apps (like Chrome)