Documenting GNOME Shell Extensions is an ongoing process and some information here may be outdated, incomplete or otherwise inaccurate. Please be patient while we continue to improve it and see the Getting Help section if you have questions that are not answered here.
The extension system is a replacement for the "applets" or "widgets" system of GNOME 2. Extensions can add their own items to the top panel, but they can also do much more: adding a custom search provider, for instance. For more information, see this post.
Extensions can be installed from the official GNOME Extensions website, with the help of a WebExtension compatible with Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome (Chromium) web browsers. See the documentation for your distribution if this was not already installed with GNOME.
Many distributions also have popular GNOME Shell extensions available in their package repositories.
Some extensions may provide a preferences dialog for configuration options or settings. These can be accessed a number of ways:
The Extensions App
The gnome-extensions CLI tool included with GNOME Shell
Each of these tools can be used to enable, disable and launch the preferences window of extensions.
The guides and tutorials for extensions are now available on gjs.guide, including:
- The GJS test suite is probably the most thorough example of available features and usage available.
- The GNOME Shell source contains many re-usable classes and functions as well as plenty of examples of how they can be used.
LookingGlass is a tool that can be used to inspect and debug GNOME Shell while it is running, including point-and-click inspection. It is NOT a stepping debugger like gdb.
As of GNOME Shell 3.34, there is a new gnome-extensions command-line tool for working with extensions:
$ gnome-extensions Usage: gnome-extensions COMMAND [ARGS…] Commands: help Print help version Print version enable Enable extension disable Disable extension reset Reset extension uninstall Uninstall extension list List extensions info Show extension info show Show extension info prefs Open extension preferences create Create extension pack Package extension install Install extension bundle Use “gnome-extensions help COMMAND” to get detailed help.
These are some older pages, which are likely out of date, but may still contain useful information. These will ultimately either be reviewed and updated, or archived:
- Finnbarr's guides