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How To Install Pop Shell Window Tiling Extension On Ubuntu 20.04, Fedora 32, Debian Bullseye Or Sid, And Arch Linux Or Manjaro (Xorg Only)

Pop!_OS 20.04 was released today, and probably the best new feature is the addition of Pop Shell, which features advanced tiling window management for the GNOME desktop.

But this is not just for Pop!_OS. If you use GNOME Shell 3.36, you can give Pop Shell a try right now. This article explains how to install it on Ubuntu 20.04, Fedora 32, Debian Bullseye or Sid, and Arch Linux / Manjaro. It only works on Xorg though; I tried it with Wayland and enabling auto-tiling froze the GNOME desktop (it looks like this is a known bug).

Pop Shell auto-tiling
Pop Shell with auto-tiling enabled on my Ubuntu 20.04 desktop, using an ultra-wide monitor

First, a bit more about Pop Shell. This is a short summary of Pop Shell. For a lot more, including the motivation behind creating it, a feature overview, and in-depth usage, please see the Pop Shell documentation.

This GNOME Shell extension is described as "a keyboard-driven layer for GNOME Shell which allows for quick and sensible navigation and management of windows", and it has two modes: stacking and auto-tile, so users can choose what they need. Switching between these two modes can be done from the extension menu from the top bar: disable the Tile Windows option and you'll be using the stacking mode.

In stacking (floating) mode, windows are allowed to overlap like on a traditional desktop, while in auto-tile mode, Pop Shell provides a tiling window manager experience where windows are automatically tiled.

Even when using stacking mode with Pop Shell though, you get some optional tiling window management features, like a grid-based display in which you can move and resize windows, snap to grid, window focus switching using the keyboard, and more.

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