6 GNOME Shell Tweaks

GNOME Shell or GNOME 3, the alternate desktop interface for Ubuntu, has just won me over. I was a huge Unity fan before this but after getting my hands on GNOME Shell, choosing my interface just got a lot harder when booting my computer, and most of the time GNOME wins it.

Anyways, here is a collection of tweaks that can be done to improve GNOME Shell and make it the way you want it.

1. GNOME Shell Themes

This stuff, is awesome. There are many themes out there, and I’m pretty sure there are more to come. The above theme is a personal favourite and the one I’m using now called Faience. There are many more themes available on DeviantArt or just Google them to discover. To install a GNOME shell theme, you need to install GNOME Tweak Tool

sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

You will also need to install a User Theme Selector. A great guide to installing these plugins and getting your GNOME shell themes up and running is available at OMG!Ubuntu.

2. Move Close Button to the Left

Are you used to having your close button on your left? However, on GNOME 3 and GNOME Shell the default locations of this button is on the right. You can change it by using the gconftool as shown below.

gconftool --type string --set /desktop/gnome/shell/windows/button_layout "close:"

Type that in the Terminal and then press Alt+F2 and type in “r” (without the quotes) to restart. Thanks to Geekum for the tip!

3. Get Back the Minimize and Maximize Buttons

In GNOME 3, the minimize and maximize buttons are missing. GNOME says that by using the new Activities Tab it’s a better way to manage windows. Well, in a way the Activities Tab is awesome but I’m pretty sure everyone wants their minimize and maximize buttons back. This can also be done by using gconftool like #2.

gconftool --type string --set /desktop/gnome/shell/windows/button_layout "close,minimize,maximize:"

Don’t forget to press Alt-F2 followed by “r” to restart gnome. You can also change the arrangement of the buttons by changing the code above to suite your preference.

4. Change the Login Screen Background

Okay, tell me which other OS besides Linux allows you to change your login screen background image? By installing Simple Light DM Manager, you can change the image according to your preference. This also works with Unity just so you know (It’s a Ubuntu 11.10 feature). To install it just type in the following into the Terminal:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa/claudiocn/slm
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install simple-lightdm-manager

5. Where did the Shutdown Button Go To?

Anyone you have moved to GNOME 3 would have noticed the disappearance of the Shutdown and Restart buttons. It has been replaced by the Suspend button. No need to panic, here’s a little trick I found on SuperUser.com: Hold on the Alt button when you click the top panel (the one with your name), this would change “Suspend” to “Power Off”. By clicking that, you would also be given an option to Restart your computer.

6. Disable the Ubuntu Login Sound

Though the Ubuntu login sound maybe be different from other OS, it can be rather loud at times – especially when you boot up in a really quiet place. Just type this in on the Terminal to open the file in gedit.

gksudo gedit /usr/share/gnome/autostart/libcanberra-login-sound.desktop

and then set NoDisplay=false and save the file. After that, go to Startup Applications and deselect GNOME login sound. Thanks to goshawknest for the tip!

There you go, six tweaks that can easily be done on GNOME Shell. Don’t forget to share more tweaks if you have them!

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5 responses to “6 GNOME Shell Tweaks”

  1. Mark says :

    I have found it useful to tweak the hot corner so it has to be purposely clicked before showing the overview. Here are my instructions on that:

  2. shivanarrthine says :

    Hey Mark, that’s a nice tweak. Thanks!

  3. home remedies for earache says :

    Greetings from Japan. Apologize for my bad English. I used MSN’s translator on your page just to tell you how cool I think it is! Take Care!

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. How Gnome 3 won me over « 6ix E11even - November 5, 2011
  2. Happy SixEleven Day « 6ix E11even - November 6, 2011

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