This is a very general tag that should only be used for questions referring to GNOME in general and not a specific component. GNOME (GNU Network Object Model Environment) is a collection of GTK-based software that provides the desktop environment GNOME Shell.

GNOME Shell is a GTK-based desktop environment, and it's one of the most well-known desktop environments available.

screenshot showing a graphical desktop with GNOME Shell Screenshot showing GNOME Shell 44 (released in March 2023).

Use of the tag

Use it when asking about the the GNOME desktop environment as a whole, how to run non-native gnome applications in GNOME, general configuration and behavior change.

If you want to ask about or some other GNOME application, use that as a tag instead.

Key Features

  • Automatic workspace management

    At any given moment, it only keeps open as many workspaces as you have active windows on, plus an extra empty one to start more windows. When you remove all the windows from a workspace, that workspace will be removed until you need it again.

  • Extensions

    GNOME Shell and its functionality and interface can be extended or modified through the use of extensions. For more information on how to install these extensions, see How to install GNOME Shell extensions.

  • Messaging Tray

    GNOME Shell provides a uniform interface for messages, notifications, and alerts. It allows the user to stay focused on the primary task and have controllable information display. It also provides a lightweight interface to background operations.

System requirements


  • Processor - 1 GHz (x86)
  • Memory - 1.5 MB
  • Hard drive capacity - 7 GB
  • Video card - VGA @ 640x480


  • Processor - better than 1 GHz (x86)
  • Memory - 1.5 GB
  • Hard drive capacity - 10 GB
  • Video card - VGA @ 1024x768

How to install

Click this link to install the gnome-shellInstall GNOME Shell package, find it in the Ubuntu Software Center/Software app, or type sudo apt-get install gnome-shell in a terminal. There are more instructions at How do I install and use the latest version of GNOME?