How to Make App Window Transparent in Linux Gnome Desktop

Running Ubuntu, Debian, or Fedora with Gnome Desktop? You can now change app window transparency via an extension.

The old Gnome 2 and Unity desktop support for transparent app window using compiz. It is however no longer compatible since Gnome 3. For those missing this feature, you can now use a Gnome Extension instead.

The “Transparent Window” extension adds ability to change the opacity of windows using Alt + mouse scroll. It is a very useful feature that can improve work efficiency.

The extension does the job in per app window basis. And the effect retains until you close the app window.

How to Install Transparent Window Extension:

1. For Ubuntu based systems, firstly open terminal and run command to install the required library.

sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell

2. Then go to this web page and turn on the toggle icon to install the Gnome Shell Extension.

Don’t see the toggle icon? Click the link which says “click here to install browser extension“. Then refresh the web page after installed the browser extension.

Configure the extension:

Either Gnome Tweaks or Extensions has option to toggle the Gnome Shell Extension.

To install Gnome Tweaks, run the command in terminal for Ubuntu based systems:

sudo apt install gnome-tweaks

And run this command instead in Fedora based systems:

sudo yum install gnome-tweaks

To install the Extensions tool, run command in terminal for Ubuntu based systems:

sudo apt install gnome-shell-extension-prefs

And run this command instead in Fedora based systems:

sudo yum install gnome-extensions-app

After that, open either tool and click on the gear icon to change the settings. The Hotkey is Alt + Mouse Scroll by default. You can change Alt to Ctrl, Shift, Super, or key combination, e.g., Ctrl+Alt, Ctrl+Shift+Alt. Without typing the number, just open the config dialog and press you desired hotkey, the number will change accordingly.

Merilyn Ne
Hi, I'm Merilyn Ne, a computer geek 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.