Enables zooming of the gnome shell using alt and mousewheel
Clone or download



(c) Sep 2011, Tobias Quinn tobias@tobiasquinn.com


This uses python-xlib and python-dbus to allow the gnome shell to be zoomed like enhanced zoom desktop in compiz using the modification key and mouse scrollwheel


To select the modifier key use dconf-editor and navigate to: com -> tobiasquinn.com -> mousewheelzoom -> modifier-key Note: mousewheelzoom needs to be restarted to reload the configuration

Note: config only works with the precise and quantal builds (master branch)


The branches have recently changed master is for gnome 3.4 onwards (ubuntu precies and quantal).

oneiric branch is for ubuntu oneiric and uses python-xlib

There is also a ubuntu precise port using gsettings in the branch precise-gsettings.

Arch Linux

There is an archlinux PKGBUILD provided (available from AUR as gnome-shell-mousewheel-zoom-git)

Linux Mint 15

For Linux Mint 15 olivia (Ubuntu 13.04 raring) this is the installation procedure that worked for me:

sudo apt-get install git valac libx11-dev
mkdir ~/src ; cd ~/src
git clone https://github.com/tobiasquinn/gnome-shell-mousewheel-zoom.git
cd gnome-shell-mousewheel-zoom ; make
sudo cp com.tobiasquinn.mousewheelzoom.gschema.xml /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas/
sudo glib-compile-schemas /usr/share/glib-2.0/schemas
./mousewheelzoom (<-- add to mdm startup applications)


A ppa for Ubuntu oneiric, precise and quantal is available from:


to install do:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:tobias-quinn/gsmz sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install gnome-shell-mousewheel-zoom


To be able to compile (using make) the vala version, run:

yum -y install vala gobject-introspection-devel libX11-devel


There's also hideonzoom.py which hides the cursor during inactivity. It needs unclutter package.


  1. Check ps aux | grep 'mousewheelzoom' and possibly kill any other instance.