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By on November 5th, 2011

MGSE and Gnome 3

MGSE improves on the problems that Gnome 3 faces.

  • It changes the way people use their computer
  • It’s application-centric, not task-centric (you switch between applications, not windows)
  • It doesn’t do multi-tasking well (you can’t see opened windows, system tray icons, etc..)

While Linux Mint makes extensive use of application menus, window lists and other traditional desktop features, Gnome 3 tries to do away with all that and introduce a new method of interaction. While the Mint team appreciates the efforts of Gnome 3, they do not see it as a preferable way of interacting with the computer for desktop users. This inspired them to create Mint Gnome Shell Extensions or MGSE.

Mint Gnome Shell Extensions is a layer on top of Gnome 3. It does away with the  idiosyncrasies  of Gnome 3 and makes it usable. MGSE supports extensive customization. Therefore, if you require a feature in particular and do not want another feature, you can tweak MGSE to suit these needs. Turning off MGSE completely gives you the default Gnome 3.

MGSE makes the desktop environment of Gnome 3 more task-centric, than plain Gnome 3 which is more application-centric. The main features in MGSE are,

  • The bottom panel
  • The application menu
  • The window list
  • A task-centric desktop (i.e. you switch between windows, not applications)
  • Visible system tray icons
  • Media Player indicator

However, MGSE has not compromised on any of the features of Gnome 3 like hotspots on Window corners.

Author: Chinmoy Kanjilal Google Profile for Chinmoy Kanjilal
Chinmoy Kanjilal is a FOSS enthusiast and evangelist. He is passionate about Android. Security exploits turn him on and he loves to tinker with computer networks. He rants occasionally at You can connect with him on Twitter @ckandroid.

Chinmoy Kanjilal has written and can be contacted at

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