Before Gnome started removing all useful features from applications and I switched to KDE, I was using Gnome for a long time.

Here’s my Gnome set-up. I’ll just list down the steps I used on my favorite Arch Linux to get to my current set up.

GNOME display manager

For GNOME Shell, GDM provides the most seamless integration. Although it is slightly slow, it works without problems.

I’d gdm installed and running automatically at startup.

pacman -S gdm
systemctl enable gdm


pacman -S gnome gnome-extra

To start using GNOME, choose GNOME in GDM while logging in.

Install Tweak tool to edit a myriad of options.

pacman -S gnome-tweak-tool

Shell extensions

Go to to install these:


A beautiful, material design based theme is Paper. To install it you can either download the tar balls and extract it to the specific folder, or clone git (so that updating is easier). Let’s say you’re cloning the repositories to ~/Downloads

cd ~/Downloads
git clone
git clone
cd ~
mkdir .themes # if doesn't exist
mkdir .icons  # if doesn't exist
ln -s ~/Downloads/paper-gtk-theme/Paper .themes/
ln -s ~/Downloads/paper-icon-theme/Paper .icons/

You can now switch to these themes in Tweak tool -> Appearance -> (GTK+|Icons|Shell theme) -> Paper

To update the themes a month or so later, you just go to the respective directories in ~/Downloads and do git pull

Now you can install some of my favorite applications.