‘V Shell’ is an Impressive GNOME Extension to Tweak Shell UX

Want vertical workspaces in GNOME 43 or above?

If you do, you probably know about the Vertical Workspaces GNOME extension. It’s a well made bolt-on that (shock) brings vertical workspaces back to the GNOME desktop, similar to how things were prior to GNOME 40.

But I’m not here to talk about that – well, not specifically.

See, a major update to this extension is in development. So major in fact that the developer is rebranding the extension to V Shell.

The addition of “shell” should give users a better idea about what this extension can do as it’s now grown well beyond “just” offering a stack of vertical workspaces.

Not that you need to take my word for it as V Shell’s developer has shared details about the changes and a video demo that delivers a decent overview of its capabilities – so hit play on that below (apologies if it doesn’t show up in the RSS feed):

There’s a lot to take in, isn’t there?

What I personally like is that the add-on caters to horizontal workspace lovers (that me) as much as those who prefer vertical arrangement. Many of the new capabilities have been folded in from the developer’s Overview Feature Pack extension.

Want workspace thumbnails to appear at the bottom, just above the Dash? It can do that. Want the Applications grid to be a set number of columns, sorted alphabetically, slide in from the top, and show Dash icons as well? It can do that also.

V Shell GNOME extension screenshot
V Shell – options galore

A far from comprehensive rundown of what’s available in V Shell:

  • Use horizontal or vertically stacked workspaces
  • Adjust position, orientation, scale and visibility of overview content
  • Always show workspaces on top in overview
  • Secondary monitor support
  • Change Dash icon size and on-click behavior
  • Tweak Dash transparency and radius
  • Use static backgrounds with adjustable blur effects
  • Change Applications grid icon size, columns, rows, and position
  • Set custom search view width, results icon size, number of rows
  • Various workspace thumbnails appearance options
  • Static background in workspace switcher keeps Conky, DING, etc visible
  • Control over transition and animations, including speed
  • Window search provider (with space shortcut)
  • Recent files search provider (with ctrl + space shortcut)
  • Reorder workspaces in overview using keyboard shortcuts
  • Extra Dash menu actions, e.g., Force QuitClose Windows on Current Workspace

But honestly, my advice is to just go hands on and play around if you’re feeling brave.

The latest code is available on GitHub right now (which is what I used to test it – follow the instructions, it’s very simple).

The final version will be made available on the GNOME Extensions website (and thus available as an update for existing users) in the not-so-distant future.

If you find this extension awesome — because it’s something you’ll use or you admire its technical temerity — you can buy the developer a coffee to say thanks.

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