Just upgraded to Ubuntu 14.04, which seems to also make a full reinstall of Chromium (as all my plugins were removed).

Now, trying to access https://extensions.gnome.org/ to enable Gnome Shell extensions, but the message:

We cannot detect a running copy of GNOME on this system, so some parts of the interface may be disabled. See our troubleshooting entry for more information.

keeps appearing. There is nothing in my chrome://plugins page, but the site still seems to be whitelisted in my "click to play" settings. Has anyone found out how to force Chrome to get this plugin?

  • 1
    Doesn't answer your question, but I just had this problem. An easy workaround for me was to use Firefox instead. Apr 23, 2014 at 5:35
  • Yeah Firefox works for me as well, I just want to know why it doesn't in Chrome anymore.
    – bak202
    Apr 23, 2014 at 13:57

5 Answers 5


Chrome and Chromium dropped support for the NPAPI plugins (Netscape Plugin Application Programming Interface) in favor of PPAPI (Pepper Plugin Application Programming Interface) so all plugins that use NPAPI (like GNOME Extension plugin) are just not supported.

The only alternative is using another browser that allows them (like Firefox) or asking the developers to move to PPAPI (unlikely).

NOTE: This is the blog post from the Chromium blog mentioning this, titled: Saying Goodbye to Our Old Friend NPAPI.


You want to install the "chrome-gnome-shell" (and probably also the "GNOME Shell Integration" Chrome Extension)

You can find instructions to install chrome-gnome-shell for your distro here on the GNOME wiki.

Essentially, install for your distro:

And then add the Chrome Extension.

  • This solved it for me. Apr 10, 2018 at 9:41
  • Debian testing July 2018 - nope, doesn't work. It doesn't think the chrome-gnome-shell is installed.
    – RichieHH
    Jul 9, 2018 at 9:13
  • Yes. For Ubuntu 18.04, I had to do both sudo apt install chrome-gnome-shell and click on the Add to Chrome button in GNOME Shell integration to fix this issue.
    – Sun Bear
    Apr 12, 2019 at 6:12

I was getting this error because the plugin package was not installed. Installing it with Yum immediately fixed the problem, although you have to use Firefox because Chrome doesn't support the protocol they are using.

sudo yum install gnome-shell-browser-plugin

Install chrome-gnome-shell depending on your distro and for the first time execute:

/usr/bin/python3 /usr/bin/chrome-gnome-shell --gapplication-service

After this the addon from chrome will detect the native plugin.


Try going to chrome://flags/ and enabling Npapi

  • 5
    This is impossible to do. It's been completely ripped out of the code base on Linux.
    – Makoto
    Apr 27, 2015 at 20:05

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