Utilities

Excellent Utilities: Extension Manager – Browse, Install and Manage GNOME Shell Extensions

This series highlights best-of-breed utilities. We cover a wide range of utilities including tools that boost your productivity, help you manage your workflow, and lots more besides.

Part 22 of our Linux for Starters series explains how to install GNOME shell extensions using Firefox. Because of a bug, our guide explains that it’s not possible to install the extensions using the Snap version of Firefox. Instead, you need to install the deb package for Firefox (or use a different web browser).

However, if you have updated to Ubuntu 22.04, you’ll find that trying to install Firefox using apt won’t install a .deb version. Instead, it fetches a package that installs the Firefox Snap. You can install a Firefox deb from the Mozilla Team PPA. But there has to be an easier way to install and manage GNOME Shell Extensions.

This is where Extension Manager steps in. It’s a small utility that lets you browse and install GNOME extensions without using a web browser.

Installation

The full source code is available. Instead of compiling the source code, the easiest way to install Extension Manager is with Flatpak. Flatpak is an open source containerized package format similar to Snap. While Snap relies on a central repository for software, Flatpak can be installed from different sources. The primary source is Flathub.

Issue the commands:

$ sudo apt install flatpak
$ flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

$ flatpak install flathub com.mattjakeman.ExtensionManager
$ flatpak run com.mattjakeman.ExtensionManager

In Operation

Here is an image of Extension Manager in action.

Extensions Manager

We can search for an extension by typing a keyword. In the example below we’re looking for internet radio extensions. As you can see, 2 of them are unsupported (on Ubuntu 22.04). Extensions Manager is a real time-saver when installing extensions.

Summary

Extension Manager offers a very easy method of browsing and installing GNOME Shell Extensions. It offers a really quick way to install and remove extensions. It also prompts you when there are updates available and performs the upgrades within the program.

If you use GNOME and love its extensions, you’ll definitely want Extension Manager. A perfect candidate for our Excellent Utilities series.

The utility auto-detects all installed GNOME extensions, including ‘system extensions’ that are already installed.

Website: github.com/mjakeman/extension-manager
Support:
Developer: Matt Jakeman and contributors
License: GNU General Public License v3.0

Extension Manager is written in C. Learn C with our recommended free books and free tutorials.


Complete list of articles in this series:

Excellent Utilities
AbricotineMarkdown editor with inline preview functionality
AnanicyShell daemon created to manage processes’ IO and CPU priorities
brootNext gen tree explorer and customizable launcher
cheat.shCommunity driven unified cheat sheet
crocSecurely transfer files and folders from the command-line
DeskreenLive streaming your desktop to a web browser
dufDisk usage utility with more polished presentation than the classic df
exaA turbo-charged alternative to the venerable ls command
Extension ManagerBrowse, install and manage GNOME Shell Extensions
fdWonderful alternative to the venerable find
fkillKill processes quick and easy
fontpreviewQuickly search and preview fonts
horcruxFile splitter with encryption and redundancy
LanguageToolStyle and grammar checker for 30+ languages
Liquid PromptAdaptive prompt for Bash & Zsh
lnavAdvanced log file viewer for the small-scale; great for troubleshooting
lsdLike exa, lsd is a turbo-charged alternative to ls
McFlyNavigate through your bash shell history
mdlessFormatted and highlighted view of Markdown files
OCRmyPDFAdd OCR text layer to scanned PDFs
PaperworkDesigned to simplify the management of your paperwork
PDF Mix ToolPerform common editing operations on PDF files
pecoSimple interactive filtering tool that's remarkably useful
ripgrepRecursively search directories for a regex pattern
scrcpyDisplay and control Android devices
tldrSimplified and community-driven man pages
tmuxA terminal multiplexer that offers a massive boost to your workflow
TuskAn unofficial Evernote client with bags of potential
UlauncherSublime application launcher
WatsonTrack the time spent on projects
Whoogle SearchSelf-hosted and privacy-focused metasearch engine
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