Archives For Gnome

Ubuntu has an indicator applet to quickly prevent screen goes blank, lock screen, and/or automatically suspend on system idle.

It’s “Caffeine”, a more than 10 years old tool, that’s now available as Gnome Shell Extension. Which is useful when watching movies, or doing automation process that needs screen to keep alive.

Previously, it acts an indicator applet in the system tray on top-panel. By clicking on it will prevent (or allow again) screen blank and auto suspend when system idle.

Start in GNOME 43, default desktop in Ubuntu 22.10, Fedora 37, it’s well integrated into the desktop by adding a button in the upper right system menu, along with power-off, dark mode buttons.

Besides prevent screen blank infinitely, there’s now also sub menu options to do the action in just 5, 10, or 30 minutes. Once you enable Caffeine along with one of the time options, it shows the applet with count down timer in the aggregation icons on top-bar.

As well, instead of showing notifications, it now display volume control style OSD in center of bottom screen when toggling on/off Caffeine option.

How to Install Caffeine in Ubuntu:

NOTE: Caffeine works on all current Ubuntu, Fedora and other Linux with GNOME Desktop. Though, the features mentioned above are only for GNOME 43 so far.

For Ubuntu 22.04 and Ubuntu 22.10, search for and install “Extension Manager” from Ubuntu Software.

Install Extension Manager in Ubuntu 22.04+

Then launch it and use the tool to search and install Caffeine extension.

For old Ubuntu 18.04 and other Linux with GNOME, use the ON/OFF switch at the page below to install it:

Caffeine also has a configuration page can be opened either via “Extension Manager” or “Gnome Extensions” app. There you can do:

  • toggle display applet or not.
  • show notification or not.
  • enable the app when there’s full-screen app.
  • set keyboard shortcut.
  • enable the app when launching custom applications.

I don’t remember when’s the last time auto-save session feature works correctly in my Ubuntu machine. While, enabling hibernation could be the best choice now to save and restore all open app windows in Ubuntu.

But for those who really like the auto-save session feature, here’s an Gnome Shell extension can do the job partially.

It’s ‘Another Window Session Manager’, an extension which adds an indicator icon on top panel system tray area. It provides an option to manually save all open windows, then allows to restore either manually via menu button or automatically at login.

Save open windows

Not only for classic Xorg, but it also supports Wayland session. Also, it remembers window size, position, and workspace. The downsides are that it does not restore the window workspace correctly sometimes, and restores some apps in empty window rather than last open files or URLs.

The extension is not perfect so far, but anyhow it’s better than nothing!

How to Install this session restore extension:

The extension so far support for Gnome 40, 41, 42 and 43. Meaning not only for Ubuntu 22.04, Ubuntu 22.10, it also works in Fedora 35/36/37 workstation, Rocky Linux 9, Arch, and other Linux with recent GNOME desktop.

For Ubuntu 22.04+, first search for and install “Extension Manager” app from Ubuntu Software.

Install Extension Manager in Ubuntu 22.04+

Then, use the tool to search and install “Another Window Session Manager” under Browse tab.

For Fedora 35/36/37 and other Linux with GNOME, visit the extension web page and use ON/OFF switch to install it.

Enable Restore open windows at login

The feature to restore all open app windows on startup after user login is not enabled by default.

You can need to do following steps one by one to enable the function:

    1. First, go to ‘Installed’ tab in Extension Manager. Then open the configuration dialog for the extension, by clicking on the gear button. (or install Gnome Extensions app and use the tool to open the settings).
    2. Next, navigate to “Restore Sessions” tab and:
      • enable ‘Restore at startup’ toggle option.
      • enable ‘Restore at startup without asking’ to skip the confirm dialog on each login (optional)

Finally, open the indicator menu, and turn on the ON/OFF switch for your saved session, so it will restore automatically at next login.

That’s all. Enjoy!

When first time logging in a user account, it always pop-up a welcome dialog to setup online account, livepath, privacy, etc in Ubuntu.

It’s quite annoying if you create new user accounts regularly, since all options in that dialog are also available in system settings. In this case, you can follow this tutorial to disable this function in Ubuntu 22.04 and Ubuntu 22.10.

Tip: run /usr/libexec/gnome-initial-setup --existing-user command in terminal can manually launch Welcome dialog if need in Ubuntu.

Welcome dialog in user first login

Method 1: Remove the Welcome package

The Welcome to Ubuntu dialog is handled by the gnome-initial-setup package. It’s safe to remove the package, as no other packages depend on it.

So, the most stupid and simple way to disable this feature is press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open terminal, and run command to remove the package:

sudo apt remove --autoremove gnome-initial-setup

Method 2: Disable welcome by editing the service

Without removing the package, you may also disable the feature by adding a rule into the systemd user service.

The old method by editing the “gnome-initial-setup-first-login.desktop” file under auto-start config folder (‘/etc/xdg/autostart‘) does no longer work in Ubuntu 22.04, due to rule X-GNOME-HiddenUnderSystemd=true. Meaning, the XDG Autostart config is overridden by a systemd service.

The key is the systemd service “gnome-initial-setup-first-login.service“. However, it’s running in per user level automatically at login. It’s easy to disable or mask the service for current user by running command:

systemctl --user --now mask gnome-initial-setup-first-login.service

Or, specify which user to disable/mask the service for via command:

systemctl --user --now [email protected] mask gnome-initial-setup-first-login.service.service

But, I can’t figure out how to disable the service for all users, especially for non-exist user before you creating it, because you know it runs only on first login for new user (exactly until you done the welcome dialog that auto-generates gnome-initial-setup-done file in user’s .config folder.).

As a workaround, you can add a rule into the service file to skip Welcome dialog automatically for all users:

1. Firstly, press Ctrl+Alt+T on keyboard to open a terminal window. When terminal opens, copy the service file into “/etc” directory.

sudo cp /usr/lib/systemd/user/gnome-initial-setup-first-login.service /etc/systemd/user/

It works by editing the service file under ‘/usr/lib’, but changes will be overridden once Ubuntu published an update for it. So, it’s better to copy and paste it into ‘/etc’ which has higher priority.

2. Then, run command to edit the service file:

sudo gedit /etc/systemd/user/gnome-initial-setup-first-login.service

For Ubuntu 22.10, replace gedit since it’s no longer default text editor, with nano

3. When the file opens, add following lines under [unit] section:

# Only run when ‘file-name-never-use’ file exist, meaning disable this service

It means only start the service when “file-name-never-use” file exist in user’s .config folder, while the first line started with # is description line.

Finally, save the file. For nano, press Ctrl+X, type y and hit Enter.

4. (skip this step if you’ve never edited the file) In case you’ve changed the XDG auto-start for gnome-initial-setup, open terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run command:

sudo gedit /etc/xdg/autostart/gnome-initial-setup-first-login.desktop

When file opens, make sure there’s a line X-GNOME-HiddenUnderSystemd=true, so it won’t run because of the service you configured in previous steps.

That’s all, you can now try creating a user account and logging in to see the magic!

Gnome, the default desktop environment in Ubuntu & Fedora Workstation, is going to replace the app menu with a new window animation, for indicating window focus.

Meaning it will remove the app menu for current window, in the top-bar beside ‘Activities’ button. Because, it’s always confusing users who are new to GNOME.

Gnome to remove app menu, instead using a window animation

Instead, when switching workspaces, closing a window, or pressing Super + Tab, it will perform a short animation on newly focused window. As the GIF below shows you, it’s a window animation that scales up the window and then scales back, indicating that the window is on focus.

The downside so far is that it’s missing the behavior to indicate the process of launching a large or slow application …

How to Install the new Window Animation

The new function is available so far as a Gnome Shell extension called “Focus Indicator“, for testing purpose in GNOME 43. Meaning users of Ubuntu 22.10, Fedora 37, Arch and Manjaro, etc., can try it out by following the steps below.

1. For Ubuntu 22.10, firstly search for and install Extension Manager from Ubuntu Software.

Install Extension Manager in Ubuntu 22.04+

2. Then open the tool, and navigate to ‘Browse’ tab to search and install ‘Focus Indicator’:

For other Linux, just use ON/OFF switch in this web page to install the extension.

Configure the Window Focus animation

After installed the extension, use either Extension Manager or Gnome Extensions app to open the configuration dialog. Then, you can set the scale up/down delay, animation duration, scale factor, and so forth.

Have an important task to do in next few hours, or you have to write something down hurriedly? Here an extension allows to write one thing into the top-bar in Ubuntu, Fedora, and other Linux with GNOME Desktop.

It’s ‘One Thing‘, a gnome shell extension allows to write any word into top panel, to remind you something important!

With it, user can simply click the original text on panel to open the input box, type anything, and hit Enter to make it display in panel. And, it so far works in GNOME 3.36, 3.38, 40, 42, and 43, meaning for Ubuntu 20.04 | 22.04 | 22.10, Fedora 36/37, Debian 11, Rocky Linux 9, Arch and Manjaro Linux with GNOME.

How to Install this extension:

For Ubuntu 22.04 and Ubuntu 22.10, first search for and install ‘Extension Manager’ from Ubuntu Software.

Install Extension Manager in Ubuntu 22.04+

The launch and use ‘Extension Manager’ to search and install the ‘One Thing’ extension under Browse tab.

For Ubuntu 20.04 and other Linux, just go to the extension web page and use ON/OFF switch to install it:

Install browser extension and refresh the page if you don’t see the toggle icon! And for Ubuntu 20.04, make sure the agent package is installed by running command in a terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T) window:

sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell

After installed it, an example text should appear immediately on top-panel. Click it and type your own text and enjoy!