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GNOME 3 (with GNOME Shell) is truly great and I especially like how easy it is to extend it through extensions like the new ThemeSelector extension.

ThemeSelector GNOME Shell extension is a new, unofficial GNOME Shell extension that adds a new tab in the Activities overview where all the GNOME Shell themes (not GTK themes!) installed under ~/.themes show up. To change a theme, all you have to do is click it and you don't even have to reload GNOME Shell.


Here's a screenshot with the new ThemeSelector extension:

GNOME Shell Themeselector extension


The theme previews aren't exactly great, probably because of my large screen too, but the ThemeSelector GNOME Shell extension is still in beta.


To use the ThemeSelector extension, you need to install GNOME Shell Extensions and the GNOME Shell User Theme extension. But don't worry, despite a first look on the installation steps below, installing all of these is actually quite easy. Read on!



Install GNOME Shell Extensions and the User Theme extension in Ubuntu / Fedora



If you've compiled GNOME Shell using JHBuild (tested in Ubuntu):

cd ~/gnome-shell/source
git clone http://git.gnome.org/browse/gnome-shell-extensions
cd gnome-shell-extensions
./autogen.sh --prefix $HOME/gnome-shell/install/ --enable-extensions=user-theme
make && make install


If you use Fedora, you can probably find Gnome Shell Extensions and the User Theme extension in the repositories. If not, download the .rpm files from here (I'm new to Fedora so I'm unsure how the repositories work ... for now :D) : GNOME Shell Extensions Common and GNOME Shell Extension User Theme


If you've installed GNOME Shell from the GNOME 3 PPA in Ubuntu 11.04 (not tested):

A. Compile Gnome Shell Extensions:
cd
git clone http://git.gnome.org/browse/gnome-shell-extensions
cd gnome-shell-extensions
./autogen.sh --prefix=/usr --enable-extensions=user-theme
make && sudo make install

B. Convert Fedora .rpm to .deb (again not tested - thanks to ycDref for the tip!).

This is an option for those who can't get GNOME Shell extensions to compile for some reason. Using alien is not recommended.


Download the .rpms from here: GNOME Shell Extensions Common and GNOME Shell Extension User Theme

Install alien:
sudo apt-get install alien

Then convert all downloaded .rpm files to .deb:
sudo alien -d --scripts *.rpm

And install the resulting .deb files (you can also directly install them using "-i" instead of "-d").



Install the Themeselector GNOME Shell extension


The ThemeSelector extension already comes with 5 great GNOME Shell themes by half-left: Atolm, Smooth Inset, Elementaty, Dark Glass and Deviant Art GNOME Shell themes. Here's how to install it.


Download the Themeselector Gnome Shell extension, extract it and place "extension.js" and metadata.json under the ~/.local/share/gnome-shell/extensions/themeselector@fpmurphy.com/ folder (if it doesn't exist, create it). Then copy all the folders you've extracted to the ~/.themes/ folder (it's a hidden folder in your home directory; if some of those folders exists, merge the data).

Now restart GNOME Shell and you should have a new Themes tab in the Activities overview.


Post updated with a newer ThemeSelector version (0.9) - instructions for extracting the ThemeSelector changed!
GNOME Shell Themeselector info and the extension itself - thanks to blog.fpmurphy.com; Many thanks to Charles Bowman for the tip!
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