How do I install GNOME Shell extensions?

Is it possible to update, remove and manage the extensions?

  • 5
    Ubuntu 18.04 users can skip directly to this answer: askubuntu.com/a/1029306/775359 – Nagabhushan S N Jan 31 '19 at 8:46
  • @NagabhushanSN Just to clarify, it's not the case that the other top answers (especially the ones detail how to install extensions from the official GNOME extensions site) no longer works on Ubuntu 18.04. Many of us prefer and find it much more convenient to install, update and manage extensions from the website using the browser extension instead of the Software app. – pomsky Jul 1 '20 at 11:39

In order to install an extension you are required to have the gnome-tweak-tool installed, this should be installed by default on most modern Ubuntu GNOME versions, however if it is not you can install it by running the following:

sudo apt-get install gnome-tweak-tool

With the gnome-tweak-tool come some pre-installed but not pre-enabled extensions, you can view these by opening the gnome-tweak-tool (you can either run this in Terminal (CTRL + ALT + T) or you can search for Tweak Tool in the Activities Overview) and going to the Extensions section.

Browser preparations (installing and updating)


Version 52+

Since Firefox version 52 NPAPI plugin support has been removed so plugins like the GNOME Shell Integration plugin and Java etc won't work. So if you wish to install a new extension which isn't already installed then you will need a two-part solution:

  1. Native host messaging application:

    sudo apt-get install chrome-gnome-shell
  2. The GNOME Shell Integration Firefox plugin.

After you have installed both of these you will need to restart your browser for the changes to take effect. Then you will be able to browse and install GNOME extensions from here.

Below version 52

If you wish to install a new extension which is not already pre-installed go here in Firefox and make sure that the GNOME Shell Integration plugin is enabled. So either go here about:addons (enter this into the URL bar and press ENTER), go to the Plugins section, and make sure that the GNOME Shell Integration plugin is set to Always Activate, or do the same but instead set it to Ask to Activate and then when you visit the GNOME extensions website make sure you either click Allow Now every time, or press Allow and Remember (you will need to click the little lego brick to get this dialog - the brick shown in the screenshot below):

Allow GNOME Shell Integration Plugin Dialog

Enabling this plugin allows the website to detect your GNOME version as well as to install and manage your extensions. The plugin should be installed by default in Firefox 52 and below on Ubuntu GNOME.

Chrome and Chromium

(and some other Chromium-based browsers including Vivaldi)

Since NPAPI plugin support is not available in these browsers either you will need a two-part solution:

  1. Native host messaging application:

    sudo apt-get install chrome-gnome-shell
  2. The GNOME Shell Integration Chrome plugin.

After you have installed both of these you will need to restart your browser for the changes to take effect. Then you will be able to browse and install GNOME extensions from here.

Partial source: How To Install GNOME Extensions Using Google Chrome or Vivaldi

Epiphany (GNOME Web)

The native GNOME "Web" browser Epiphany still supports NPAPI plugins and has the necessary GNOME extensions plugin pre-installed and thus there is no need to do any setting up with it.

If it is not already installed then it can be installed with:

sudo apt-get install epiphany-browser

Installing a new extension

The most popular extensions will be displayed on the initial page you get to, you may however choose to sort page contents and search results using the Name, Recent, and Downloads filters. You can also choose to display results for All versions as opposed to just the Current version you are running (attempting to install extensions not compatible with your version of GNOME will result in a silent failure - the operation will not be successful but you will not be notified of this in any way - though extensions which are not compatible will be slightly greyed out in the results list so you will still be able to tell even with the All versions filter selected).
The different filters I mentioned above are accessibly through the relevant pull-down menus (I have put a red box around the settings in question):

GNOME Website Result Filters

You can also use the search box to find extensions, once you have found an extension you wish to install (if you are concerned about the safety of the extensions then you should read this information on the review process - go to the Are GNOME Shell extensions safe? section - extensions have to go through before they are accepted onto the website), click on its name in the search results, then once you are on its page click the ON/OFF slider next to its name (as done above in the gnome-tweak-tool), you will get a dialog prompting you if you wish to install the said extension, if you do, press Install, if you have changed your mind, press Cancel.

If you do not get such a dialog, you have just stumbled across one of your pre-installed extensions and activated it!

Once making changes to your installed/activated extensions from the website you will need to restart the gnome-tweak-tool in order for it to register the changes.

Managing extensions

In order to activate an extension click on the ON/OFF slider next to its name and description so that its status changes from OFF to ON, (and visa-versa to deactivate it).
You will see that the pre-installed extensions have a greyed out Remove button next to each of them, this is greyed out because they are pre-installed, if you install a new one however you will be able to use this button to permanently remove it.

You will also see that some of the extensions have a button next to their Remove button that looks like this:

Extension Options Button

Clicking this button will enable you to alter the configuration for the extension in question (it should launch a settings window).

The online view enables you to also do similar (though it also allows you to remove/uninstall pre-installed extensions, so tread carefully - though of course you will be able to re-install them again).

Updating extensions

The gnome-tweak-tool does not support the upgrading of extensions through its interface (though in future it is planned for the whole web interface to be scrapped and for it all to be done through gnome-software), if a new version of an extension comes out and you wish to upgrade to it you may do so by going here and clicking upgrade button next to the ON/OFF slider (if there is no upgrade button then the extension is already up-to-date):

GNOME Shell Extension Upgrade Button

You will then be prompted if you would like to Upgrade the said extension, pressing Upgrade will upgrade it, however pressing the Cancel button will disable or possibly even uninstall it so that you will need to reinstall or reactivate it again.

Tips and Tricks:

Right-clicking on the Activities Overview button (or Activities as it is normally called on the button) will bring up a window specifically dedicated to your GNOME Shell extensions:

GNOME Shell Extensions Dedicated Window

This process should work for all those using GNOME 3.4+.

  • chrome-gnome-shell is available in the official repository for 16.04 – Anwar May 17 '17 at 11:03
  • @Anwar: It wasn't present last time I checked although I may have looked slightly in the wrong place... Or at least it wasn't obvious on LaunchPad. But I have now updated my answer. – user364819 May 17 '17 at 16:22
  • It's in the xenial-updates repository. So, Probably it's pushed to the repo later. – Anwar May 17 '17 at 17:11
  • @Anwar: The xenial-updates section is part of the main repo, it's just a category as opposed to xenial-security. – user364819 May 17 '17 at 17:12
  • Yeah, I knew it. Unlike xenial-main, xenial-updates don't get frozen after release and they might have used it to push new package. That's what I meant – Anwar May 17 '17 at 17:14

Gnome-shell extensions can be installed from the Gnome-shell extensions web page. The site is: https://extensions.gnome.org/ enter image description here

To install an extension click on the extension and then you will go a page describing the extension.

enter image description here

In that page you can see a slider switch. Turn on the slider if you want to install the extension. Then you will see a prompt to install the extension.

enter image description here

The installed extensions can be managed from https://extensions.gnome.org/local/

enter image description here

Once you're on Installed extensions tab, you can upgrade any extension, disable and bring settings directly from the browser.


You can find the update button next to the extension name when there is an update available.

update button picture

Click that button to update. You'll get a prompt similar to the one you get when you installed the extension asking the permission to install the extension. click on the Install button (Yes, it's not Update) to install the updated extension.

Using extension settings

Though you can use gnome-tweak-tool, you can alo bring up the extension settings window from the site if the extension provides one. Just click on the small wrench icon. A settings windows should appear as shown in the following screenshot.

bringing a settings window from extension site

Deleting an extension

You can also delete an extension from the site provided that it didn't come with gnome-shell by default (which makes them installed into the system area).

Clicking the red cross mark should uninstall the extension.

remove button for extensions

  • 2
    This so does not work on Ubuntu 14.10 – abergmeier Jan 22 '15 at 12:42
  • 1
    Just for once make sure, that you are using Firefox and not chromium, a running gnome instance was not discovered on chromium. I am using Ubuntu 14.04 Gnome 64Bit – ArunMKumar May 9 '15 at 17:31
  • 1
    can confirm this does not work on ubuntu 15.10. A brand new firefox profile will have the ubuntu modifications extension, itunes detection and h264 codec plugin. Nothing else. – gcb Nov 15 '15 at 0:40
  • 1
    Can someone explain why a browser extension is needed to install Gnome extensions? It seems clunky as opposed to something built into Gnome, but perhaps I'm missing something – pufferfish Aug 30 '17 at 14:46

Ubuntu 18.04 and later

In Ubuntu 18.04 and later GNOME Shell Extensions can be installed from the Ubuntu Software app. Do a keyword search for "GNOME shell extensions" and the type of app you are searching for.

You can also search from all of the available GNOME Shell Extensions on the same screen by pressing Add-ons button which is located under the Categories heading. In the Add-ons screen select the Shell Extensions tab and you will see all the available GNOME Shell Extensions.

enter image description here

  • Clicking on a GNOME Shell Extension in the list of search results will bring up its screen which will often show screenshot(s).

  • Clicking on the       Website        button will open its website in a web browser where you can view a larger sized image of the same screenshot that was shown in Ubuntu Software.

  • Clicking on the         Install          button will install the extension.

The gnome-shell-extension-tool package in the default Ubuntu repositories is a tool for managing your installed GNOME Shell extensions.

gnome-shell-extension-tool is provided by the gnome-shell package. For 19.10 and later use gnome-extensions instead of gnome-shell-extension-tool:

Results of gnome-shell-extension-tool --help :

Usage: gnome-shell-extension-tool [options] [extension-name]

  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -d DISABLE, --disable-extension=DISABLE
                        Disable a GNOME Shell extension
  -e ENABLE, --enable-extension=ENABLE
                        Enable a GNOME Shell extension
  -c, --create-extension
                        Create a new GNOME Shell extension
  -r RELOAD, --reload-extension=RELOAD
                        Reload a GNOME Shell extension
  • 2
    for Ubuntu 19.10 gnome-shell-extension-tool is deprecated, use gnome-extensions instead – Alexander Glulkhovtsev Dec 12 '19 at 6:19

The GNOME website has an Extensions section set up, which is currently in its Beta phase. It promises easy installation of extensions, and management of installed ones, through a web interface.

The site can be accessed here: https://extensions.gnome.org/

  • This i really great! No install, clean and simple, as sliding a button – LnxSlck May 10 '12 at 23:32
  • i didn't find the sliding button for non-installed extensions – MhdSyrwan Jun 13 '12 at 22:15
  • 1
    @MhdSyrwan you need firefox with an installed Gnome addon to be able to see that button. – tftd Jun 2 '13 at 17:57
  • Actually I'm on a fresh install of Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 and one-click-install from extensions.gnome.org doesn't work (no proxy, add-on and firefox are packaged with distribution, maybe it's permissions problem somewhere under the ~/.local root). – cprn May 11 '14 at 16:04

(This answer was originally posted to a question titled Unable to install GNOME shell extensions using GNOME Tweaks in Ubuntu 18.04)

The extension installation feature is removed from GNOME Tweaks (since v3.26, the one in Ubuntu 17.10 if I remember correctly).

To manually install extensions, simply extract the archive you got from the official site and copy/move the extension folder (usually of the form extension-name@developer-info) to your ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/ directory. Then re-login (or restart GNOME shell). The extension should appear in the (GNOME) Tweaks now. Activate it from there.

  1. Go to the gnome-shell extensions page using a supported browser (that is not totally secured to anything running on or coming from the web).

    Like the stock gnome-browser or a clean install of Firefox should work as well. I sometimes had issues installing extensions using Google Chrome or Midori.

  2. Filter by "Supported by: Current Version"

  3. Click the toggle-Button of the Extension you want

  4. A "install this extension"-question should pop up. Confirm.

  5. In rare cases you need to reload the gnome-shell to make a new extension work without issues (RARE!) - open the gnome-shell run dialogue (Alt+F2) - if not set check Alt+F2 doesn't display the Run Command Prompt in GNOME Shell), type in r and hit Enter.


I have been going crazy trying to get this to work on a clean installation of ubuntu gnome 14.04. I have found the solution.

  1. Open Firefix.
  2. Go to addons (about:addons).
  3. Under the plugins, you will see Gnome Shell Integration.
  4. Select that and change the activation options to ALWAYS ACTIVATE.

I then closed out firefox and then reopened. When I went back to http://addons.mozilla.org. I was able to install the extensions (The slider stayed in the on position. The extension did show up in the tweak tool after that. I hope this helps. I have read so many answers and tried so many things. I am just happy that I figured it out and I'm able to share it with everyone. Here is quick list of versions so you can verify against yours.

Clean install of Ubuntu Gnome 14.04 Firefox 34. Version that was installed during installation.


You can directly execute the extension selection application with the following command:

sudo gnome-shell-extension-prefs

activate the extension and then press Alt + F2, on the command line enter r and press Enter.

This method can present problems:

  • When you restart the GNOME shell (Alt + F2,r) the extensions may stop working. (Example: Dash-to-Panel).

  • If you use the command gnome-shell-extension-prefs, in the application that opens, the extensions may appear as not activated.

  • Hi there, I added some monospacing into your answer using backticks around the in-line stuff and four spaces before the block quote. I'm not sure what the word "active" means in that context, so I can't tell if it's meant to be part of the command or not. – Jeremy May 2 '18 at 1:49
  • 1
    I don't see how this would help "installing" a new extension! You can only activate/deactivate or manage already installed extensions using gnome-shell-extension-prefs. – pomsky May 15 '18 at 16:29
  • 1
    There should not be sudo there. – XTL May 6 '19 at 14:06

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