Archlinux User Theme Fix for Gnome Shell 3.4

Install User theme from Gnome extensions website. Which is accomplished by clicking the OFF button (top left). It will ask for your permission to install. Proceed and then it will be installed under you home directory. Once succesfully installed OFF will turn to ON

But if you check gnome tweak tool, most probably, shell theme will be seen disabled. The fix is mentioned in the comments section of the page.

sudo cp $HOME/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/user-theme\ /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas/

sudo glib-compile-schemas /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas

Now check gnome tweak tool, you will be able to change the shell theme.


A neat Gnome Shell setup

Default gnome shell  is a dumbed down version of  what gnome shell is capable of.  There are many themes out there  which I like to recommend especially the likes of  Atolm and Zukitwo.  Here is a neat setup of Gnome Shell in Arch.

1.Install Gnome tweak tool.

2. Download and install Atolm transparent theme.  Instructions are available from the page. Once installed you can select it from gnome tweak tool.

3. Install some useful extensions.

3.1)Remove the accessibility. I don’t find it of any use. I hope it is the case with you too. 😀


Description:A gnome-shell extension to remove the Accessibility icon from the panel

3.2)Move the clock to the status area.


Description: A gnome-shell extension to move the clock/calendar to the status area.

3.3)Install Window list extension


Description: This Gnome Shell extension tries to transform the Application Menu to a window list.

3.4)Application menu button extension. This gives a drop down list of application menu. This is more elegant than the old static drop down list. I didn’t find this in AUR. ( I could be wrong )

Get it  from

Extract it to ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/

3.5)Atlernate status menu  to  enable Power Off option. This is like a must have.

Name: gnome-shell-extension-alternative-status-menu-git

Description:For those who want a power off item visible at all the time, replaces GNOME Shell status menu with one featuring separate Suspend and Power Off. Adds the ability to   hibernate as well.

Unless explicitly mentioned all the above extensions are available from AUR.

Gnome shell with Transparent Atolm Theme

Applications Menu Button

Using window list to close all open terminals

Visit . There are plenty of extensions there too.

Gnome Shell Shortcuts

To be really good at Gnome shell you need to know about it keyboard shortcuts. These are viewable under System settings -> Keyboard -> Shortcuts. From there you can create new ones or alter the already existing ones. So here is a sheet I’ve created for easy viewing (only a few commonly used).

Tweaking Gnome Shell

If you think Gnome folks have gone too far to achieve debris free desktop experience, you might be needing a tool to customize some aspects of it. Meet Gnome-tweak-tool. For Arch, you can install it easily,  you have to enable the testing repo.

pacman -S gnome-tweak-tool

The main reason for writing this is because I wanted to try out two themes Atolm and Smooth Inset by half_left; pretty neat themes IMO [ thanks goes to Webupd8 ] It seems there aren’t many blogs there explaining this stuff. I found out that the best way to do this is by installing gnome-shell-extensions. Get it by

git clone git:// 

cd into the directory and run

cd gnome-shell-extensions
./ --prefix=/usr --enable-extensions="user-theme alternative-status-menu"

user-theme is the thing we want for installing themes using gnome-tweak-tool. I included “alternative-status-menu”  also cause this gives you a permanent power off option instead of having to press the “Alt” key. Actually you could try installing all the extensions but in my case xrandr-indicator caused the whole gnome shell not to load. You could figure what is causing it to crash by checking the .xsession-errors under you home directory. So if you want to install all extensions you can do that by changing enable-extensions=”all”  [ Only do this if you know what you are doing ]

After running  do make and make install

As root..
make install    

Now you will see an option to change theme, adjacent to it is a revert option.

Gnom-tweak-tool -> Shell -> Shell theme

Browse to where you saved the theme and open it. You may need to restart gnome shell.  Enter r into the Alt + F2 dialog.
Here is a list of all the extensions

  • alternate-tab
  • alternative-status-menu
  • auto-move-windows
  • dock
  • gajim
  • user-theme
  • windowsNavigator
  • xrandr-indicator

Consult the gnome-shell-extension README for further details. Except for xrandr-indicator others don’t seem to cause much problem. You could try them for yourself. 🙂

Here is the Power Off option enabled in Smooth Inset theme.

Happy Shelling