GNOME designers are working on a dramatic redesign of the Quick Settings menu (pegged for a future release) that promises to make it easier to access core system settings.
And now you can try it.
Mockups detailing the intended design were added to the GNOME design Gitlab a couple of months back. The proposed design won’t shock or stun; if you’ve used a recent version or iOS, Android, macOS, or Windows you’ll be broadly familiar with the planned approach.
But thanks to a GNOME developer you can do more than look at the new Quick Settings for GNOME Shell: you can try it!
This is development code, not final
A prototype ‘Quick Settings’ extension is up on Florian Müller’s Gitlab. (Florian is also a maintainer of the GNOME Shell). This extension is not the final thing™. It exists so that GNOME’s design and development teams can hash out the UI/UX of the proposed quick settings dialog without needing to build, compile, and install an entirely separate version of GNOME Shell.
It’s a fancy proof of concept, if you will – a prototype.
The upside to all of this work being open source is that nosey (and impatient) folks like you and I can download and install the dev build to try ourselves. While not perfect, Florian’s Quick Settings dev gives us an early look at how the proposed Quick Settings dialog could work in reality, across desktop and laptop devices.
You can download the development extension from gitlab.gnome.org/fmuellner/quick-settings-extension. To install the extension open a new Terminal window and run
gnome-extensions install path/to/extension.zip.
Finally log out of your current session and then back in. Enable the Quick Settings extension using your preferred extension manager/tool and… click the status menu.
Now, this extension is not guaranteed to work (trying on Ubuntu 22.04 with GNOME 42 I get an error) however, scores of others report success on Reddit. I did get it to work without issue in GNOME 43 Alpha on Fedora Rawhide.
And …I dig it. Okay, so sub-menus aren’t perfect yet, and the big blank gap at the top on desktops (on laptops and portables this area displays battery status) isn’t ideal. And it definitely looks better with more than one slider on show too (as in my screenshots).
But so far, so good.
Interesting though this is, do remember to disable the extension once you’re done playing with it to avoid any unintended quirks (like not being able to access a status menu at all). Also: don’t get too upset/attached to how things function here as this is all in flux.
Let me know what you make of the GNOME’s Quick Settings down in the comments, or over on the omglinux sub-reddit.