Thursday, 12 April 2012

Reduce horizontal spacing between icons in GNOME 3.2

One thing that annoys me about the default GNOME shell is the amount of horizontal space it wastes in between icons/indicators in the status area (top right on the panel).

Urgh look how much space is between all the icons!

I wrote a very simple GNOME shell extension to fix this. (My first ever! More an exercise in how to do it than anything else).

It's available for one-click install from The repository (for anyone interested in the code) is here.

If for some reason you don't want to/can't install from, you can go to the 'Downloads' page and download the .zip file. Then start gnome-tweak-tool, select "Shell Extensions", "Install Shell Extensions", and choose the .zip file. Restart the gnome-shell, enable the extension, and you're all done!

The result?

Nice and slim

Voila! Enjoy :)

What it Does

It basically just modifies these lines from the file /usr/share/gnome-shell/theme/gnome-shell.css:

.panel-button {
    -natural-hpadding: 12px;
    -minimum-hpadding: 6px;
    /* ... and so on */

The attribute -natural-hpadding is set by default to 12 pixels wide. My extension sets this to 6 pixels wide (you can modify this if you want; just change the relevant lines in stylesheet.css that comes with the extensions).

If you set -naturial-hpadding below 6 pixels you will have to adjust -minimum-hpadding to match it too.


  1. Please, just add "3.10" to the metadata.json file under `"shell-version": [`... Works great otherwise

  2. Hello,

    I'm really love this extension and could you please update that to Gnome Shell 3.14 as soon.

    Thank You!