Ade Malsasa Akbar contact
Senior author, Open Source enthusiast.
Thursday, June 9, 2016 at 23:25

This article introduces how to install GNOME Shell Extension whether it is automatically via Extensions Repository or by GNOME Tweak Tool. Both way are suitable for beginners. Here we use GNOME Shell 3.14 in Ubuntu GNOME 16.04 Xenial Xerus as the example.

What is GNOME Shell Extension

Remember Mozilla Firefox and its add-ons. A GNOME Shell Extension is the same thing for GNOME Shell. If an add-on adds a new functionality to Firefox, so does GNOME Shell Extension. For example, you may add new bottom taskbar, traditional menu, weather widget, and another good features by installing an Extension in your GNOME Shell desktop.

Install An Extension from The Official Repository

This is the automatic way to install extension. This is the most common way. You must be using GNOME Shell to do it, because of course you can't install GNOME Shell Extension in KDE. Basically you just need one click to install it.

We pick an example Ping Indicator exension by trifonovkv

  1. Go to the extension web page in Extension Repository. For Ping Indicator, the web page is located at
  2. Look for on-off switch button in that page. Usually it is located at the left side of the extension name. 
  3. Click the button to turn it on.
  4. A dialog window will ask for your permission to install the extension. Permit it. 
  5. You will find your extension in the place it belongs. For Ping Indicator extension, you will find it on your top panel on the tray. 

Install Extension via GNOME Tweak Tool

This is the offline way because you don't have to visit the Extensions Repository website to install it. We pick EasyScreenCast extension here as an example.

  1. Obtain the source code of the extension. It is usually packaged in .zip format. For EasyScreenCast, download it from its original source code web page In GitHub page, click on green button (Clone or Download) then click on Download ZIP button. Any extension hosted in GitHub has the same way to download. 
  2. Open your GNOME Tweak Tool. 
  3. Go to Extensions menu > scroll down > click Install button > pick the .zip file > press OK. Sometimes you'll be asked to restart yur GNOME sessions. It means simply log out and log in again.
  4. Now you can use the extension you've just installed.