Gnome 3

Super L or Super R (often a 'windows' key) will usually bring up launcher for launching tasks

Open Settings application to make many of these changes.

Dock Settings

Settings -> Appearance -> Auto-hide the Dock

Auto-hide the Dock (Settings->Appearance->Dock)

Update Blank Screen Preferences (Settings->Power->Blank Screen)

Dark Mode

Good for testing if web pages respond to the operating system dark mode preference:

Settings -> Appearance -> Dark Mode How to Enable Full Dark Mode in Ubuntu 20.04

Alert Sounds

Disable alert sounds like screenshot photo sound:

dconf write /org/gnome/desktop/sound/event-sounds "false"


If the dconf method does not work, a manual work around is to make all of the sound files silent.

AKA create silent versions of them all.

Open Audacity. Generate 1 second silent audio.

cd /usr/share/sounds/Yaru/stereo
sudo cp /path/to/silence-1sec.ogg .
sudo chmod 644 silence-1sec.ogg

sudo cp silence-1sec.ogg audio-volume-change.oga
sudo cp silence-1sec.ogg battery-low.oga
sudo cp silence-1sec.ogg bell.oga
sudo cp silence-1sec.ogg complete.oga
sudo cp silence-1sec.ogg desktop-login.oga
sudo cp silence-1sec.ogg device-added.oga
sudo cp silence-1sec.ogg device-removed.oga
sudo cp silence-1sec.ogg dialog-error.oga
sudo cp silence-1sec.ogg dialog-question.oga
sudo cp silence-1sec.ogg dialog-warning.oga
sudo cp silence-1sec.ogg message-new-email.oga
sudo cp silence-1sec.ogg message-new-instant.oga
sudo cp silence-1sec.ogg message.oga
sudo cp silence-1sec.ogg power-plug.oga
sudo cp silence-1sec.ogg power-unplug.oga
sudo cp silence-1sec.ogg system-ready.oga
sudo cp silence-1sec.ogg trash-empty.oga

I needed to restart for this change to take effect. Eventually they were replaced / reinstalled automatically.


The move approach for the sound files were ultimately re-added by the system.

cd /usr/share/sounds/Yaru/stereo
sudo mkdir originals

sudo mv * originals/

Gnome Tweaks

Many configurations are not exposed via Settings.

There is also the Tweaks application (why 2?). This is where you can find the Themes setting

For everything else, there is dconf-editor.

sudo apt-get install gnome-tweaks

Titlebar Buttons

Adjust window button placement

Use Tweaks application to move close, minimize, and maximize to the left of the Window Titlebars.

Tweaks -> Window Titlebars -> Placement -> left

Desktop Icons

Settings -> Appearance -> Desktop Icons -> Toggle "Show Personal folder"

Desktop Background

gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri file:///home/account/public/template.svg

To change the background color, it may be necessary to use:


gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background primary-color '#DDDDDD'

It is possible to set by right clicking on the desktop but so far I have had difficulty setting it to an image other than those provided by default.

It is possible to do this via the CLI:

[2019.10.25 18:47:05] gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri file:///home/account/public/16x10.png gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri file:///home/account/public/16x10.svg How to refresh the desktop background in various desktop environments? - Unix & Linux Stack Exchange gnome 3 svg desktop background at DuckDuckGo gnome3 - Can't set background wallpaper in Gnome 3 - Unix & Linux Stack Exchange

Laptop specific

Automatic Brightness

disable this under Settings -> Power -> it's annoying to have the screen dim if you get in front of the camera

Disable Middle Click

For laptops with a touch pad, I prefer the following settings:

Open gnome-tweaks and go to the "Keyboard and Mouse" tab and disable "Middle-click-Paste".

Also set the "Mouse Click Emulation" to be "Fingers" gnome3 disable mouse buttons - Google Search xorg - How can I turn off "middle mouse button paste" functionality in all programs? - Unix & Linux Stack Exchange

Login Screen

A bit tricky to find login screen customizations.


Navigate to:



Restart GNOME by pressing Alt+F2 and running the command r ( or log out and back in (Wayland). Do this whenever you want to apply and test a change of the code.

This restores functionality without a full system restart! This fixes when gnome-shell starts running full resources