Transform GNOME Shell to behave like Unity

You can make GNOME Shell 3.10 look and behave sort of like Unity (Ubuntu 14.04). It’s not difficult but requires you to gather things from a lot of places. This in turn means you have yo trust a lot of individuals or teams to have done their part well for the whole to function well.

Here’s a checklist of modifications you may need to make and how to do them in openSUSE 13.1.

GNOME Shell Extensions

You’ll want to install these GNOME Shell extensions.

AppKeys – Use Super+number to activate applications.

Alt Tab Workspace – Configure Alt+Tab to work only on the windows in the current desktop.

Dash to Dock – Show the dock you see in the overview screen (when you hit the Super key) on your desktop.


To get fonts working better than they do out of the box in openSUSE you need to install Infinality. You’ll need to log out and log back in for it to start working for you.

You may also want to install the Ubuntu Fonts. I prefer it over other Monospace fonts, although DejaVu Sans Mono is a close second for me.


You need to do two things: (1) use Ubuntu Mono font at size 13; (2) use #3D0029 as your background color (it’s dark aubergine).

I use this for my PS1.

PS1='\n\n\u @ \[33[01;32m\]\h\[33[00m\] \[33[01;34m\][\w]\[33[00m\] $ '

Tweak Tool

You should install Tweak Tool. It’ll help you to configure many things in GNOME Shell that you otherwise won’t be able to. I have used it to configure the system-wide fonts thusly.

  • Window Titles – Ubuntu Medium 11
  • Interface – Ubuntu Light 11
  • Documents – Ubuntu Light 11
  • Monospace – Ubuntu Mono 11
  • Hinting – None
  • Antialiasing – Grayscale
  • Scaling Factor – 1.0

Thanks, too, to these resources: Dark Aubergine, Comment on reddit by zman0900, How to quickly configure superb subpixel hinted smooth fonts for openSUSE 12.3.

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