HowTo: Find the GNOME Desktop Version

last updated in Categories , ,

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][/donotprint]


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
Fig.01: Find Out The GNOME Version


Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

12 comment

  1. 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

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

    $ gnome-about –gnome-version

    1. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The correct way to do this is:

    gnome-about –gnome-version

    (note there are two hyphens before gnome-version)

    1. 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
  5. 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 :)

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

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

    Still, have a question? Get help on our forum!