Today I saw an article about extensions for GNOME Shell, so it got me thinking a couple of questions that may apply to many users in Unity:

  1. Will the GNOME Shell extensions be compatible with Unity?

  2. Can I install them directly to Unity from the https://extensions.gnome.org/ website?

  3. In case 2 is NO, is there a similar idea for Unity in the works?

  • It will prehaps work, since unity is based on gnome.
    – user46586
    Feb 16 '12 at 0:02

No. They are only for gnome-shell. They are expecting a special API, are written in javascript, and in general are too different to be used on Unity.

Note that the idea of writing most of the gnome-shell UI in javascript will make it very easy to write extensions that can hook near everywhere. Of course it will take a penalty in speed. It's quite similar to the trade-offs between Firefox and Chrome. Firefox UI is written in XUL (an extension of javascript) and Chrome in C++. The former is way easier to extend, but the later is likely going to be always faster and more responsive (I'm talking about the UI, not the rendering or javascript engine).

So to answer you second question, no, likely Gnome-Shell is going to be always more customizable than Unity as a result of a design decision.

  • I wish I could give +2 because the C++/Javascript thingy with Firefox and Chrome also solved several doubts I had between them. Dec 7 '11 at 17:34
  1. NO. gnome shell extensions are meant to be used on gnome shell only. and they don't have any effect when using unity.
  2. you can install them directly from your browser, yes, but you will see a difference using gnome shell only.
  3. NO, no similar idea. unity uses compiz and you can browse the ccsm mangaer to change things in there.
  • 3. HOPEFULLY There will be an implementation of this in the future.
    – Jordan
    Dec 7 '11 at 17:04

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