How to quickly access Gemini AI on Linux with this GNOME desktop extension

Gemini update


Gemini is Google’s answer for ChatGPT…but it’s more than that. Finally, this bit artificial intelligence will replace the Assistant on your Android phone. But Gemini is not just limited to Android, you can also use it through your web browser by visiting And if that’s not enough, you can also access it via the GNOME desktop, with the addition of a handy little extension and API key.

Also: What does a long context window mean for an AI model, like Gemini?

Once added, you can click the top bar icon, ask Gemini a question, and the answer will appear in the drop-down menu. While Gemini also has the ability to create images, this extension doesn’t handle that feature well enough to be useful (instead, images appear as rows of black lines). Even with that problem, the extension is still a very handy means of accessing the Gemini AI service.

Let me show you how to add it to your GNOME desktop environment.

How to install extensions

What you need: To add this extension, you will need a Linux distribution with the GNOME desktop environment, the Firefox web browser, and an API key from Google AI Studio (available for free).

On the “Gemini AI ChatBot” extension page, click “Install” and when prompted, “OK” the installation (you may also be asked to enter your Linux user password).

The "Gemini AI Chatbot" extension page.

Installation of the “Gemini AI ChatBot” extension requires the Firefox browser.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

The next step requires you to get an API key from Google AI Studio. To do this, point your browser to Google’s AI Studio. On that page, click Get API Key at the top of the left bar. On the results page, click “Generate API Key” near the middle.

Also: What is Gemini Live? How Google’s real-time chatbot competes with GPT-4o

When prompted, select “Inventive Language Client” from the Google Cloud Project drop-down menu and then click “Generate API Key” under “Existing Project”. Once the key is generated, copy it to your Gnome clipboard. To do that, click the key (in the API Key column) and then click the “Copy” button.

Gemini API creation page.

Make sure to select the correct item from the drop-down menu.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Click the Gemini extension icon in the top bar and then click the Gear icon to access the settings popup window. In the pop-up window, paste your key into the “Gemini API Key” field. Once you’ve done that, click “Save”.

Gemini AI ChatBot extension installation pop-up.

You can also choose to remember chat history (which will save it between logins).

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Gemini ChatBot AI extension is live.

I asked Gemini to define Linux.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

And that’s all it takes to quickly access Google’s Gemini AI service from the GNOME desktop. While this extension is more limited than Gemini on Android or on the web, it’s a great way to interact with it for research and quick answers when Googling gets too much.

Enjoy that newfound strength.


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