GNOME is the default desktop environment for Ubuntu 20.04. If you don’t yet have a desktop environment installed (as is the case for Ubuntu Server), or have a different GUI and would like to switch to GNOME, it’s very easy to do. GNOME includes a variety of desktop applications and its aim is to make a Linux system easy to use for non-programmers. In this tutorial, you will learn how to install the GNOME desktop environment on Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa Linux.
GNOME (GNU Network Object Model Environment) is probably the most used graphical environment in the Linux ecosystem, if only because all major Linux distributions such as Fedora, RHEL, Debian and Ubuntu ship with it as the default desktop. GNOME strives for simplicity and ease of use, and for this reason, not without some criticisms by a part of the Linux community, tends to be less customizable than other desktop environments such as KDE Plasma or XFCE. Instead of using plaintext configuration files, GNOME stores its settings in the dconf database, which can be manipulated using the “dconf-editor” GUI, or from the command line using the “dconf” utility.
The functionalities of the GNOME desktop environment can be expanded with the installation of Ubuntu GNOME extensions. These are plugins written and submitted by normal users and developers that seek to improve the desktop environment and want to share their extension with other users. In this tutorial, you will learn how to install Gnome Shell Extensions on Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish Desktop.
Wayland is a communication protocol that specifies the communication between a display server and its clients, and we can choose whether to enable/disable Wayland on Ubuntu. By default the Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish desktop already uses Wayland but it’s also possible to load to Xorg display server instead. In this tutorial, you will see how to disable and enable Wayland in Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish.
Power-profiles-daemons is a free and open source project designed to handle system power profiles over D-Bus. The two major Linux desktop environment, GNOME and KDE Plasma, are nicely integrated with it, allowing the user to easily manage power profiles from their dedicated power manager interfaces, but it is also possible to switch profiles and retrieve information about them from the command line, using a dedicated utility.
Nautilus, also known as “Files”, is the default file manager of the GNOME desktop environment. In a previous tutorial we saw how to create and call custom scripts from the Nautilus context-menu: this feature can be really useful but is somehow limited. By installing the nautilus-python package in our favorite Linux distribution, and writing just few lines of Python code, we can overcome such limitations and create proper Nautilus extensions.
Dconf is the low-level configuration system used by the GNOME desktop environment. It is basically a database, where the various configuration are stored as keys together with their values. The keys in the database can be inspected, changed, or dumped with the dconf utility or by using the dconf-editor graphical tool.
Many people find it useful to organize some of their most frequented applications as shortcuts on their desktop. This allows for quick launching of programs or custom shortcuts. Although most Linux systems rely on a sidebar app launcher or start menu, desktop shortcut launchers can allow you to open applications or websites super fast, since they live right on your desktop and make the targets only a click away.
In this tutorial, you will see how to enable root login for the GNOME desktop environment on a Linux system. By default, users are expected to log in to the GNOME desktop environment using a normal account. This is a recommended practice due to security concerns. If you wish to ignore this recommendation and log in to GNOME with the root account, keep reading below.