GNOME Shell Modes

A few days ago I installed PulseSecure’s client to gain access to the corporate VPN.
For reasons comepletely unknown to me, these guys are stuck in the past, providing only a 32bit client for linux. WTF.

Anyway, I got everything working with Open Connect so I could safely remove all 32bit dependencies I added to my system.

How? I ran dpkg --remove-architecture i386 && apt-get purge ".*:i386". BIG. BIG MISTAKE.

TL;DR: many parts of the system broke, but I got everything up and running after an hour or so.

There were only two things that stayed broken:

  1. The date/time clock, which is usually centered at the top bar, moved to the right.
  2. I had a window list bar stuck at the bottom of the screen.

I couldn’t find solutions to either. It seemed that everyone online were trying to move the clock to the right, not to the middle.
Moreover, every time I tried to disable the Window List extension, it came back.

While trying to remove the extension, I found a small configuration file at /usr/share/gnome-shell/modes called classic.json, with the following content:

{
"parentMode": "user",
"stylesheetName": "gnome-classic.css",
"enabledExtensions": ["[email protected]",
"panel": { "left": ["activities", "appMenu"],
"center": [],
"right": ["a11y", "dateMenu", "keyboard", "aggregateMenu"]
}
}

Neat! All I had to do is move the “dateMenu” item to center, and remove “window-list”.

P.S: also answered on askubuntu.com