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I'm on stock Ubuntu 20.04 with Gnome 3 desktop.

I do have an app that's called "Extensions":

screenshot of the extensions app UI

I would like to know

  • whether it is preinstalled with Ubuntu 20.04
    • in other words, do people mostly have it?
  • or did it get installed when I installed the gnome-shell-extensions package (which is (primarily?) about a collection of actual extensions)
    • so only those have it who also installed this optional package?

I ask this because Extensions seems to take precedence over what is being set in Gnome Tweaks' Extensions tab.

This makes it difficult to offer definitive help regarding managing gnome shell extensions, since the results seem to depend on the presence of this app.

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This is a utility of the Gnome Shell developpers. It's homepage is reported by apt show to be https://wiki.gnome.org/Projects/GnomeShell. It is a package of the Universe repository, and is not preinstalled. It can be explicitly installed through the package gnome-shell-extension-prefs, but it may also be installed along with the official Gnome Shell extensions, gnome-shell-extension, for which it is a recommended package. In Ubuntu, apt is configured to install recommended packages by default.

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  • Indeed, I have this package, it is this app. Executing it in the terminal brings up this UI. But I don't have it listed in ( apt list --manual-installed | apt-mark showmanual ). For this reason I'm still unsure about its origin...
    – Levente
    Apr 6 at 13:30
  • Also automatically installed indeed for me, so I will update my post at least on that point. I have a strong suspicion that this comes directly from Gnome, but I did not find anything yet (like you ;-)
    – vanadium
    Apr 6 at 14:15
  • I will boot from my live USB and check whether it's there.
    – Levente
    Apr 6 at 14:20
  • I have written my new hypothesis in my answer.
    – vanadium
    Apr 6 at 14:20
  • In the live USB, the app was not present initially. After adding the Universe source, I have run sudo apt install gnome-shell-extensions --dry-run and sudo apt install gnome-tweaks --dry-run. I found that gnome-shell-extension-prefs has shown up in both cases among the packages that will be installed (according to you, consequence of recommended being enabled by default). So it's not "suggested", it's recommended.
    – Levente
    Apr 6 at 14:39
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As I have learned from @vanadium's answer, the app is called gnome-shell-extension-prefs.

Trying out Ubuntu in a live USB session, the app was not present initially.

After adding the Universe source, I have run

  • sudo apt install gnome-shell-extensions --dry-run and
  • sudo apt install gnome-tweaks --dry-run.

I found that gnome-shell-extension-prefs has shown up among the packages that will be installed in both the case of installing gnome-tweaks and installing gnome-shell-extensions. (As @vanadium has pointed out, it is because apt is configured by default to install recommended packages.)

From this, it seems safe to assume that anyone who has Gnome Tweaks installed, has the Extensions app too.

Which is all the more weird, because as I have found, Extensions can override Tweaks, and at that, without any hint: settings in Tweaks will simply not take effect, if they conflict with settings in Extensions.


Just a detail:

I remember, in the beginning (when I did not have yet gnome-shell-extensions), being able to enable/disable the Desktop Icons extension with Tweaks.

It was only later, at some point in time, that (re-)enabling Desktop Icons became impossible through Tweaks. (Because then it had to be done with Extensions.)

Between these two experiences, I'm aware of two things happening:

  • I have installed the gnome-shell-extensions package
  • I was experimenting with a gnome-shell --replace command, which has disabled all my extensions, and each had to be re-enabled by hand.

Somehow I still think that with the above, I have disqualified myself from reliably assuming how other people's shell extension preferences work...

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