Make Gnome on Ubuntu 20.04 usable


Back when I hated Unity, I wrote down some steps to make it nicer. Well I’m still on Ubuntu (which might change soon – snaps suck), and these days like to hate on Gnome.

I’ve since moved some settings to config files, but most of the setup is still manual and will keep evolving as Gnome keeps breaking things.

Start by installing gnome-tweak-tool. Under “Windows”, choose “Focus on Hover”, perhaps tweak some other settings, and then install the Extensions.

Gnome ignores ~/.xsession, ~/.xinitrc etc, so under “Keyboard & Mouse”, choose “Additional Layout Options” and “Ctrl position” and “Swap Ctrl and Caps Lock”. Also “Switching to another layout”, “Two shifts together”.

Must have, without these I’d off Gnome:

  • Workspace Matrix – my virtual desktops must be in a grid. In settings, select “Show workspace grid in the overview”.
  • No Title Bar – Forked – Vertical space is precious, don’t take it away from me. There used to be “Pixel Saver”, then “No Title Bar”, and now “No Title Bar - Forked”. Gnome keeps breaking things, extension developers can’t keep up.
  • System Monitor Next – I really need to see what my system is doing. Same story as above, there are many versions, most no longer work.

Nice to have:

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