The Gnome Shell application list is very pleasing to the eyes, but a bit disorganized. None of the apps sort by application group, so it makes looking through it and finding an app a bit tedious. If you’re looking to fix this issue, the best way to do it is to install the Gnome Dash Fix tool. This tool can organize Gnome apps into app folders automatically and make it easier to find.

Gnome Dash Fix

Gnome Dash Fix is a simple Bash script and is found on Github. Using it doesn’t require any special libraries or skills. To get started, open up a terminal window and use the Git tool to download the latest source code. Don’t have Git installed? Follow the instructions below to get it for your distribution of choice.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install git

Debian

sudo apt-get install git

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S git

Fedora

sudo dnf install git

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install git

Other Linuxes

The Git tool is usually easy to find on most Linux distributions, mainly due to the fact that it’s a development tool that a lot of people use. If your operating system isn’t on this list, you’ll still be able to grab the Gnome App Fixer script. Open up the terminal and search your package manager for “git”. Install the package and you should be good to go!

Can’t find the Git package for your Linux distribution? Consider checking out Pkgs.org. They have lots of information about packages from all sorts of Linux distributions, big and small. It should be easy to find a downloadable package to suit your needs.

Get App Fixer

App Fixer isn’t very large and just contains a few files: a legacy Shell Script, and a new interactive Python tool. In this guide, we’ll cover how to use both. However, before we do that, we’ll need to grab the latest version of the code. This is done with a git clone. In the terminal, use git to download a copy of the App Fixer code.

git clone https://github.com/BenJetson/gnome-dash-fix

Next, use the CD command to change directories from /home/ (where the terminal usually opens) to the newly created Gnome Dash Fix folder.

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cd gnome-dash-fix

Work needs to be done inside the new folder we’ve moved the terminal to. Specifically, we’ll need to change the permissions of both scripts or non-root users will not be able to run the code as intended. Start off by using the chmod tool to mark the Python script OK to run as a program.

sudo chmod +x interactive.py

Right after updating the interactive.py file’s permissions, the same needs to be done with the legacy Bash script. Once again, use the chmod tool to let the system know that the appfixer.sh script is OK to execute.

sudo chmod +x appfixer.sh

Now that both scripts have the correct user permissions, it’s time to run the tool.

Interactive Python Script

The App Fixer developer has included a new Python script that he claims is “easier” to use compared to the bash script. When the user runs it, the script asks different questions about how it goes about organizing Gnome apps into separate folders.

Before we run the script, open up a terminal and use it to check and see if you have Python installed on your Linux PC. There’s a good chance it is there, as most Linux programs rely on it. Still, not every Linux operating system has it set up. To confirm that Python is there, run:

python --version

If Python isn’t installed, the above command will do nothing. If it is on your PC, it’ll let you know the version number. For this script to run, have at least version 3 installed. Information about Python 3 can be found at the official Python website. It’s also a good idea to check the official Wiki entry on Python3 for your operating system.

Run the script with:

python3 interactive.py

Follow the prompts on screen and answer the critical questions it asks in order to categorize your Gnome applications into “app folders”.

Want to remove app folders? Re-run the script, except this time, select option 3 to remove everything.

Legacy Bash Script

If Python has failed you, but you still want app folders, try running appfixer.sh. The important thing to understand here is that this script is very crude. It’s not bad code by any means, however, there isn’t an undo button. Appfixer.sh works by executing options to the Gnome desktop via the gsettings command. You should only use this script if you have no way to run interactive.py, can’t get Python3 working right, or simply don’t know how.

Run appfixer.sh with:

./appfixer.sh

Sometimes, running Bash scripts with ./, rather than with Bash or Sh can mess up the syntax. If you run into issues with the above command, try these instead:

sh appfixer.sh

or

bash appfixer.sh

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