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How to Create a Winter Wonderland on Linux With GNOME Extensions
December 21, 2022

How to Create a Winter Wonderland on Linux With GNOME Extensions

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Want to experience the joy of the winter season without leaving the comfort of your home? Bring snow to your desktop using GNOME Shell extensions.

Whether you view the snow and cold weather as havoc to winter drivers, naughty words, aching backs, or a delightful way to have a hot beverage in hand, there are three straightforward ways to add a bit of joy to your Linux PC.

We found three great options that will overlay winter effects to create the feel of winter, and the joy that Christmas often brings us. Let’s dive into these options so you can create a winter wonderland on your Linux desktop.

Creating a Winter Wonderland on Linux

To get the effect of winter without going out in the cold, or should you live in a region where snow isn’t a thing this time of year, it’s nice to have a little fun with your Linux desktop environment with the holidays in full swing.

If you’re looking to add to your happy-go-lucky holiday mood, consider picking up a Christmas-themed subscription box for yourself. You deserve it!

While you’re at it, throw on a Spotify playlist to help beat the winter blues. With the perfect song lined up to play next, let’s dive into some great winter themes to add to your Linux PC.

You can install GNOME Extension Manager to add or manage the below-mentioned extensions.

1. Snow

This GNOME extension provides a falling snow overlay to your Linux desktop. The best part is that it’s super easy to install.

Head to the GNOME Extensions website, and search for Snow in the search bar.

You can choose the Shell version 40, 41, or 42 (depending on your current GNOME desktop version).

Once you’ve selected the correct version required, simply click on the switch opposite to the GNOME Extension title to On. Soon after, you’ll notice a blue snowflake added to the top bar of your Linux desktop.

This may not be great during a task where focus is of priority; however, if you’re doing light tasks then grab some slippers and a hot drink to take in the winter theme.

If you find the snowflakes falling become a distraction, simply click the snowflake icon on your desktop’s top bar and click on the Let it snow toggle to turn this feature off.

2. Xsnow

Xsnow is a small application that you can install on a range of Linux distributions. It helps you customize a multitude of animations that allow you to adjust the level of ‘Christmas’ that you are capable of absorbing on one desktop.

To install Xsnow, open a terminal window and type the following command, depending on the Linux distro you’re using:

On Debian and Ubuntu:

 sudo apt install -y xsnow 

On Fedora and RPM-based distributions:

 sudo dnf install -y xsnow-3.5.3-1.fc36.x86_64 

When installed, press the Super key and type in xsnow in the application search field. Then, click on the app with the Santa icon to launch Xsnow.

You’ll see a menu where you can set the snowfall, Santa characters, celestial elements, birds, and more. When you’re done perfecting your winter scene you should see something like this:

You may customize your winter scene to be as realistic or super Christmas-tacky as your heart desires!

3. DownFall

To install this extension, visit DownFall’s GNOME Extensions page and toggle the switch to On.

Once that is sorted, press the Super key and search for the word extensions. Launch the Extensions app to view the menu. From there, click on the Settings button below DownFall (manually installed).

DownFall helps you celebrate many celebrations as the characters, or emojis, are completely customizable. You can add an asterisk, change the color to yellow, or have some fireworks if you wish.

Want to simulate the matrix? No problem. In the special features settings menu, you can turn on the matrix trail using the default characters. Some of the additional features do tend to chew through resources so use them with care.

Which GNOME Extension Is Best for Winters?

Choosing between Xsnow, DownFall, and Snow is really going to be up to you. Do you prefer something simple to install and easy to use? Perhaps, Snow is best for you.

If more variation and a Christmas theme are your requirements, then Xsnow is worth the extra steps and setup to provide you with your perfect desktop winter wonderland.

If you like to change every detail then you should install DownFall. Again, if you choose to crank up the visualizations and turn on every feature, be sure not to run much elseā€”or your system won’t be happy.

Have fun, share gifts with your friends and family, and enjoy the winter views without having to step out into the cold!


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