3 Must Have Desktop Configuration Tools for Ubuntu Gnome

This is absolute beginner’s guide talking about the graphical configuration tools for the default Gnome desktop in Ubuntu.

System Settings

The default Settings tool, usually called System Settings, offers a list of basic settings to network, background, dock launcher, privacy, sound, power, user, etc. You’ll find it lacks features to meet your requirement. So following ones are here what I’m talking about.

Gnome Tweaks:

Gnome Tweaks, or Gnome Tweak Tool, is the default configuration tool designed for the Gnome Desktop.

It’s one of the must-have applications that offers options to:

  • Change Themes to applications, cursor, icon, shell, sound.
  • Manage Gnome Shell extensions.
  • Change desktop fonts, scaling factor.
  • Move title bar buttons position (left or right).
  • Manage startup applications.
  • Some more keyboard & mouse settings.
  • And windows, work spaces settings.

Gnome Tweaks is available Ubuntu main repositories, you can install it either from Software tool or by running command in terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T):

sudo apt install gnome-tweaks

Dconf Editor:

Dconf Editor is a graphical interface for gsettings and dconf. It offers tons of configuration options to tweak your Ubuntu desktop.

Dconf editor is graphical viewer and editor of applications’ internal settings. While it offers so many setting options, I’m using it to tweak the dock launcher, e.g., click to minimize app, move launcher icon to top, add trash to dock, and shorten the dock panel.

NOTE: As an advanced tool, some settings, e.g., login-screen options, require different user privileges.

To install dconf-editor, either use Software or run command in terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T):

sudo apt install dconf-editor

Extensions:

Extensions is a new graphical tool to manage built-in and third-party Gnome Shell extensions.

Gnome Shell Extensions add more functions to customize your desktop appearance. While Ubuntu comes with some built-in extension, you can get more from here.

NOTE: you have to follow the link to install browser add-on / extension, and run command to install required libraries:

sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell

I prefer Extensions tool a little more over the features in Gnome Tweaks. With this tool, you can:

  • enable, disable, remove extensions.
  • configure extensions settings.

To install the tool in Ubuntu 20.04, run command in terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T):

sudo apt install gnome-shell-extension-prefs

Conclusion:

Along with the default Settings tool, Gnome Tweaks, Dconf Editor, as well as Gnome Shell Extensions can do most settings to customize your Ubuntu desktop appearance. If you get more useful tools, feel free to leave comment here.

Merilyn Ne
Hi, I'm Merilyn Ne, a geek who has been working on Ubuntu Linux for many years and would like to write useful tips for beginners. Forgive me for language mistakes. I'm not a native speaker of English.