How to install Pop!_OS tiling extension on Ubuntu

Pop!_OS is an operating system for STEM and creative professionals who use their computer as a tool to discover and create. One of the most interesting features of the System76 operating system is the Pop Shell Auto-Tiling, an extension that brings to GNOME the classic feeling of tiling DE like i3 or others.

Pop!_OS uses auto-tiling for the same reason that people hire assistants: Organizing your work is incredibly time-consuming. Sure, you could still move, resize, and arrange windows yourself, but why spend the time when your OS does it for you? Auto-tiling helps you be both organized and efficient, and is especially convenient on large displays. So, why don’t we use the Pop!_OS tiling extension on every Ubuntu-based distribution. Let’s see how to do it.

To make it work, first, you need GNOME > 3.36, so with Ubuntu 20.04 you will be fine.

Open a terminal and digit:

$ sudo apt install node-typescript make # this install dependencies and make

$ sudo apt install git # this install git on your system

$ git clone https://github.com/pop-os/shell # this clone the pop os shell repo on your PC

$ cd shell # move to the shell folder

$ ./rebuild.sh # this install the pop os shell extension

If you want to override your default keyboard shortcuts, type ‘y’. Anyway, you can also reset shortcuts to default after the install.

When you see a new icon in the top right corner of the GNOME shell, the installation process should be ended fine, so you can finish it with CTRL+C and start using the Pop!_OS tiling manager extension.

To install the Pop!_OS shell Keyboard Shortcuts, you need to do some additional steps:

$ sudo apt install cargo rustc libgtk-3-dev # additional tools and dep

$ git clone https://github.com/pop-os/shell-shortcuts # clone the repo

$ cd shell-shortcuts # enter in folder

$ make # make the package

$ sudo make install # install the package

Now, you can click on the Pop!_OS tiling icon in the upper right corner and then click on the shortcuts area to open the Pop Shell Shortcuts window. And you’re done.

Latest point, the default shortcut to activate the Pop!_OS launcher is an ugly (for international users) Super + /. If you want to change it, open again a terminal and digit:

$ dconf write '/org/gnome/shell/extensions/pop-shell/search' "['<Your shortcuts combination>']"

For example:

$ dconf write '/org/gnome/shell/extensions/pop-shell/search' "['<Super>space']"

To assign the launcher opening to the SUPER+SPACE combination.

References and resources

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