HowTo: Find the GNOME Desktop Version

How do I find out GNOME desktop version from a shell prompt or GUI?

You need to use the gnome-panel or gnome-about command from the shell prompt to find out the GNOME desktop version. The GNOME panel displays an area on your screen, which acts as a repository for the main menu, application launchers, and applets. Open terminal application and type the following command: [donotprint]
Tutorial details
Difficulty Easy (rss)
Root privileges No
Requirements None
Time N/A

gnome-panel --version

Sample output:

GNOME gnome-panel 2.24.1

Or type the following on modern gnome desktop systems:
$ gnome-about --gnome-version
Sample outputs:

Version: 2.30.2
Distributor: Debian
Build Date: Friday 12 November 2010

Gnome 3.x user need to use the following command:
$ gnome-session --version

View the GNOME Desktop Version Using GUI Dialog Box

Click on System > About Gnome
Sample outputs:

Fig.01: Find Out The GNOME Version

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🐧 12 comments so far... add one

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12 comments… add one
  • Arky Apr 14, 2009 @ 4:07

    I think the trick is to use gnome-about like this.

    $ gnome-about –gnome-version
    Version: 2.26.0
    Distributor: Ubuntu
    Build Date: 03/19/2009

  • Alex Oct 14, 2011 @ 11:55

    Just install Ubuntu 11.10 with the hope Gnome 3 was installed.
    Guess what, it isn’t…

    $ gnome-about –gnome-version

    • Serrano Oct 20, 2011 @ 13:45

      I installed Ubuntu 11.10 yesterday and Gnome 3 was installed by default. If you want to login into Gnome 3 instead of Unity, you can choose the option “GNOME” in the login screen.

  • lsafladsf Oct 16, 2011 @ 9:33

    on GNOME 3.2 open the process-monitor application and go to the “System” tab. There you should find the kernel, ubuntu and gnome version.

  • lsafladsf Oct 16, 2011 @ 9:36

    i ment the app “gnome-system-monitor” not process-monitor.

  • blah Feb 1, 2012 @ 6:44

    The correct way to do this is:

    gnome-about –gnome-version

    (note there are two hyphens before gnome-version)

    • Serrano Feb 1, 2012 @ 21:37

      Unfortunately that no longer works for the latest versions of Ubuntu. Both




      are no longer available since the switch to Unity/GNOME 3. Instead you can use


      , which is also backwards compatible with older versions of GNOME:

      gnome-session --version
  • ITPaul Feb 26, 2014 @ 11:30

    The real correct way to check this regardless of what version of gnome your running is this:

    rpm --query --info gnome-panel

    That is, if you’re using RPM :)

    • Serrano Oct 24, 2015 @ 13:30

      Similarly if you’re using apt-get, you can use apt-cache to find the version:
      apt-cache show gnome-shell

  • ITPaul Feb 26, 2014 @ 11:31

    please remove this comment and put in my next one, i accidentally wrote gnome-search-tool here instead of gnome-panel

  • Luiz Barrios Pratini Nov 19, 2015 @ 21:37


  • dentka-kielce Dec 16, 2015 @ 21:26

    gnome-shell --version

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