Picture in Picture for any app in Gnome Shell.

Netflix recently announced they are testing a Picture-In-Picture mode for their Windows desktop application. Linux users although have no official Netflix application, can still watch via chrome browser. Gnome Shell users have a way to watch any window in PIP, with the Mini view extension which enables Picture in Picture for any app in Gnome Shell.

Mini view is a GNOME Shell plugin that shows a preview of another window (like picture-in-picture on a TV). Recent releases of googles chrome browser have PIP functionality built-in. Not all websites have the ability to provide it though. Mini view fills this gap by making a desktop overlay preview of any open window.

Installing MiniView

Make sure you have the ability to install Gnome-Shell extension. A guide for Ubuntu-based distributions is available here

To Install go to the Gnome Extensions website and switch the slider to on.


A window will pop up asking to install mini view. Click on the install button and the extension will appear as the word mini on the top bar.

Enabling Picture in Picture for any app in Gnome Shell.

To turn the window on right-click on the ‘mini’ icon on the top bar and click the slider to on. The preview window will then appear. If viewing a video, select the app playing the video such as chrome, VLC etc. to full screen.  If you use multiple workspaces it’s ideal to do this in a separate workspace so it doesn’t take over the screen.

PIP Gnome Shell


Change the size, position and opacity

Furthermore, changes to the preview window can be made with either the mouse or key combinations.

  • Left-mouse drag: move preview window
  • Right-mouse drag (or ctrl + left mouse drag): resize the preview window
  • Scroll wheel: change target window
  • Double click: raise target window
  • Shift + F12: toggle preview window
  • Ctrl + scroll wheel: adjust the opacity

I recommend resizing with a ctrl+left mouse as I’ve experienced some cases of the right mouse drag option not dropping the capture of the preview window and shrinking it to pixel width to the point of not being able to click it with the mouse.

Screenshot from 2019-07-03 14-35-09

Once again ahead of the Game

Showing Picture in Picture for any app in Gnome Shell is a cool feature to add. As a result, it shows the innovation in Linux is ahead of the game of it’s Microsoft and Apple counterparts.

Do you watch videos in PIP, Or know any apps that do this natively we would love to hear about it.


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