I have installed Silverblue on a spare laptop to try it out, and it is working well!
However, one thing I’m missing is the ability to handle my shell extensions via extensions.gnome.org.
It is possible to install extensions directly in Software, which is great, but it does not allow for temporary disable or accessing the settings.
The package chrome-gnome-shell is required to allow extensions.gnome.org to function fully (with any browser). Alternatively, Gnome Tweaks could be used for managing the extensions.
Both of these packages can of course be layered, but I feel that at least one of them should be included in the base image.
Would it be possible to include gnome-tweaks or chrome-gnome-shell in the base image?
Or maybe Gnome Tweaks will be available as flatpak? That would also make this feel better.
Chrome-gnome-shell installed as a layered package (or included in the base image) works with the rpm version of Firefox but won’t work with the flatpak version of Firefox. I have opened an issue in gitlab with the developer of chrome-gnome-shell. See the following link:
GNOME Software is probably the way to go. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear to be able to update extensions at the moment. After rebasing my Silverblue installation to 30 I had to uninstall and then reinstall dash-to-dock to get the new and GNOME-3.32-compatible version.
Software is not very good at managing extensions. No option for disabling (you need gnome-tweaks for that) and it does not pick up extensions installed through other means than Software (e.g. manually or using the extensions website). Sorry but there is no easy solution here.
I believe gnome-tweaks as a separate application is an abomination. It should be merged with the core configuration system a.s.a.p. Until then, including gnome-tweaks in the base image makes perfect sense. Without tweaks, some of the most basic options to configure the gnome desktop experience are missing. Hoping @mclasen can address merging all of gnome-tweak’s features into the main configuration window in future gnome design choices.
GNOME shell extensions are now managed using a new Extensions app, rather than Software. The Extensions app handles updating extensions, configuring extension preferences and removing or disabling unwanted extensions.
Extensions should be installed using the extensions.gnome.org website, so browser-flatpaks have to learn how to do that.
The Gnome Extensions package is called gnome-extensions-app and should probably be added to the base image.
I understand the need to keep the Software codebase focussed on the main use cases, but as a user I found the Software way to be so much better and more intuitive than installing through a website that has buttons/levers created by a strange Firefox addon I didn’t even know I had (talking about first-time use now). A lot of Fedora users have been used to this for so long that they no longer notice that it violates the principle of least astonishment in several ways, unlike using Software, which just makes sense. If it were up to me, the Software way would be reinstated, and extensions.gnome.org would be deleted from the internet. Or expand the Extensions app with simple browse/download capabilities.
Yes, I’m grumpy because I’ve removed the bundled Firefox and use the flatpak exclusively now, and I either have to jump through massive hoops (thanks for the instructions in the other thread, though!) or reinstall the bundled firefox just for the sake of an extension. I know most users won’t uninstall the bundled Firefox, but considering it works badly (codecs missing), keeping it around just for extensions just feels so unnecessary.