Gnome shell extensions: questions and experiences

When I install something new, I usually try all combinations so that possible problems can be detected well in advance. After starting the Wayland session, the Plank dock was at the bottom and I could launch applications from it.

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I recently discovered dash to panel. It’s a great extension with granular settings to get a panel I like!

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Two thing that I needed to understand is to really make use of those workspace and learn how to switch between them rapidly. That means max 2 windows on one workspace (instead of 5 floating windows on top of each other, makes senses…) and either learn touchpad gestures or keyboard shortcuts to move around. It’s all it takes to have a good time with gnome. I also use the pop shell extension to get tiling windows. Another way is to snap the windows on right or left border so they fill half screen.

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It was also one of the first Gnome Shell extensions I installed. Especially since I was able to move the dash back to the left edge of the screen. And I use a Plank dock within each workspace.

I also don’t open more than two windows within a workspace, because it’s more clear that way. And it’s much easier to switch between workspaces and open windows with keyboard commands.

I honestly admit that I was wrong, I only tried it superficially. Although there is no visible error message, the Plank dock does not start on Wayland.

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Thanks for posting and confirming the issue!

In a Wayland session, try launching Plank in a terminal: plank
You will see some error message similar to what I posted before.

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Anyway, how is Wayland better than X11? From what I’m reading, it’s not spreading enough and it’s not stable enough.

That is probably a “hot” subject for another thread.

You are likely to get highly nuanced and sophisticated answers like “Wayland sucks!” form “true” GNU/Linux users (read: systemd-wayland-gnome haters :wink: :rofl:) to more informative ones detailing the technical subtleties of the one or the other display server.

Admittedly, much of these technicalities is beyond my current level of understanding, being much in the process of educating myself in things GNU/Linux.

Personally, my use of Wayland coincided with my switching to GNOME when the 40 was released.
To my dismay, I realized that some of the applications I used to use didn’t work under Wayland (Plank being one of them).

However the smooth implementation of the touchpad gestures making possible switching and swiping to and through view modes and workspaces was too appealing to me to abandon it. I simply learned to adjust myself and do things differently. I haven’t looked back ever since.

I haven’t really dug into finding statistics on the extent of the adoption and the spread of Wayland.
GNOME is one of the more widely used desktop environments and major players in the GNU/Linux world like Ubuntu, Fedora and Debian use it as the default. That could be some indication as to its spread and stability.

Also, ArchWiki’s own security advisory seems to single it out as the preferred display server:


If you are interested in “stats”, you could have a look at the number of reported vulnerabilities of Xorg/X11 and Wayland. I leave it to you how to interpret the figures. See here.

More, I find this video from DJ Ware quite informative:

Speaking for myself, during my short period of having used GNU/Linux operating systems, I have learned quite a few important lessons, among others this one: to gather information from different sources, try to make sense of them and make up my mind on the course of the action to be taken. Also to avoid falling prey to FUD and Cyber Bullshiters/Bullies :wink: :rofl:


The answer from @pebcak is very nuanced and worth spending time on, but a shorter answer from me is that Wayland is more secure, but not all applications and desktop environments work well with it yet. So my approach is to try using Wayland, and if I’m having too many problems then switch back to X11. My own current experience on Plasma 5.26 with my selection of applications is that everything works OK, so I stick with Wayland.


Wayland is the future :wink:

I am going to get bashed by the :frog: :rofl:

I use Wayland because it allows to scale several screens with different scaling factors as opposed to one global scaling. X11 can’t do it or at least used to not be able to do it properly without some odd tweaks and tearing.

Edit: My only beef with Wayland is it doesn’t allow screen sharing on zoom (have to use for work), but that might be fixable. Else I don’t really notice a difference as an end-user. For me it’s just about scaling properly on screens with different resolutions, globally. Not just fonts vs icons and no problems with GTK vs qt apps. That was a problem I had on X11 with hybrid laptop with 4 k screen hooked up to 1080 dpi screen, no way to scale and everything appeared gigantic…

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The answer to this question depends on who you ask.

If you ask developers they will tell you that wayland is more modern, more secure and has potentially the better performance.

If you ask the end user they will tell you that it hardly makes a difference in daily live. Wayland is not better for the end user in daily live. In fact, wayland does not have color calibration yet which is a must have for users who take photo work serious. And this is the main reason why I still stick to X11.

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Indeed, Wayland could be a new hot topic. Here, however, let’s stay with Gnome extensions. The thread could be split from here.

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To keep the two threads clean, please post topics about Wayland in the new post linked above.
I didn’t split the topic because it would remove the logical flow of this thread and it wouldn’t make sense if I add the posts to the new topic. The Wayland topic is too interwoven with the original topic over here, so continue that one over there.

Is it worth using an extension to split the windows, or is it enough what Gnome offers by default? (like on the iPad)

Myself, I would get by with tiling just two windows which is what GNOME has by default.
I don’t feel the need to split the workspace further in smaller windows on the 13-14" screen of my laptop.

If it is “worth” doing it with with an extension? I guess that depends on the personal preferences.

pop shell for tiling windows …

I usually only keep a maximum of two windows open in a workspace. Their number can be dynamically increased anyway. Among other things, I was amazed at the use of virtual windows a good 22 years ago, when I was first shown Linux by a system administrator colleague at the time.
See how easy it is to like Gnome? :slight_smile: But before, I preferred a comfortable version (Cinnamon) and a very stable desktop environment (Xfce).

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Thanks, I saw this and asked. This is a very good extension

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agree if use mouse/trackpad. different if you keyboard focused use :blush:

( less mouse/trackpad use is better in long term :wink: )

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