The Pop Shell is an advanced tiling window management tool that offers flexibility in controlling the layouts and positions of windows.
Pop Shell is a gnome shell extension that runs on top of the GNOME Shell. It offers two window management modes; auto-tile and stacking.
The stacking mode allows windows to overlap, as in the case of the traditional GNOME desktop. However, in the auto-tile mode, all the windows get tiled automatically. Besides, you can switch between the two modes from the Pop shell extension menu.
Install Pop Shell
Are you looking for an easy way to install Pop Shell extension? This tiling window management tool lets you efficiently manage your windows, and we will cover how to install Pop Shell on Ubuntu. Moreover, we will see how to use it to manage more than two windows.
Four main steps must be followed for a successful installation. Let's get into the details.
Before installing Pop Shell, there are a few dependencies that must be available on your system.
For Ubuntu-based systems:
First, your GNOME shell should be from version 3.36. If you have versions 3.36, 3.38., 40, and 41, it will work.
Still, Ubuntu 22.04 runs GNOME shell 42 and supports the installation of Pop Shell. Use the below command to check your GNOME shell version.
Secondly, you must have TypeScript installed. Also, you must have GNU Make and Git installed.
Here's the command to install, Git, make and TypeScript on Ubuntu.
sudo apt install git node-typescript make
For Fedora-based Distro:
For Fedora, Pop Shell is available in its repositories. Therefore, you only need to run the command below to install its extension pop shell.
sudo dnf install gnome-shell-extension-pop-shell
That's it. You now have Pop Shell installed on your Fedora OS.
For Arch Distro:
Arch Linux comes with Pop Shell packages in its AUR. However, we must build it from the source to ensure the keyboard shortcuts will work.
In that case, start by installing Git, make, and TypeScript using the below command.
sudo pacman -S git make typescript
The other installation steps involve cloning its Git repository and building it. We will see the steps for that in the next step when installing the Pop Shell extension on Ubuntu.
If using Manjaro, install Pop Shell from the repository using the below command.
sudo pamac install gnome-shell-extension-pop-shell
With all the dependencies installed, let's proceed to install Pop Shell from its Git repository on Ubuntu and Arch.
Clone Pop!_OS Shell Repository
The Pop Shell extension is available in its Github repository, meaning we must clone it using Git to install it.
Use the below command to use Git to clone the repository containing its source code.
git clone https://github.com/pop-os/shell
Ensure you allow the clone process to go to completion.
Install Pop Shell Extension
Once the cloning completes, navigate to the created shell directory using the cd shell command.
You now must run the make command to start the installation on your system. Run the command below.
Along the installation process, you will get prompted to select whether to override the default keyboard shortcuts or not. In that case, press either "y" or "n" to continue with the installation.
Once the installation completes, you will note a new icon appearing at the top of your system's bar. That confirms our tiling window manager is installed successfully and ready for use.
Install Pop Shell Keyboard Shortcuts
The good news with Pop Shell is that it offers keyboard shortcuts, simplifying its usage.
Before installing the keyboard shortcuts, run the below command to install the required dependencies.
sudo apt install cargo rustc libgtk-3-dev
Next, clone the repository.
git clone https:// github.com/pop-os/shell-shortcuts
Lastly, compile the cloned source code.
sudo make install
The command below will open the keyboard shortcuts.
How to use Pop Shell
By default, the auto-tiling mode is disabled. To enable it, toggle on the tiling window option at the top.
Once you enable the auto-tiling option, all the active windows will get tiled on your screen into a grid and columns.
Any new window that you open will get tiled automatically.
If you want to highlight the currently active window, activate the option as shown below.
If you want to activate the launcher to open applications and browse the system, press the super key (Super + /).
When you don't want to use the auto-tiling mode, disable it by turning it off. Alternatively, hide it using the GNOME extensions.
Remember that Pop Shell overrides most keyboard shortcuts. Thus, after disabling the auto-tiling mode, you can manually reset the keyboard shortcuts from settings or reset all the keyboard shortcuts.
Uninstall Pop Shell Extension
When you no longer need the Pop shell extension, you can uninstall it using the below command.
Delete also its directory.
rm -r ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extension
For the keyboard shortcuts, delete them using the command below.
sudo rm /usr/local/bin/pop-shell-shortcuts
You now have your usual GNOME desktop regained.
If you are looking for advanced tiling window management, you should definitely give Pop Shell a try. Thanks to GNOME Shell - the extensible desktop made this layer on it.
Thanks for reading so far, please provide your experience using it.