I'm writing this in Ubuntu 16.04.5 LTS. I'm looking at Gnome Extensions for Ubuntu 18.04 that work with Gnome version 3.24 and breaks with version 3.26.

How can I find out using browser (google search doesn't tell me), apt list | grep ... or other means what version of Gnome Ubuntu 18.04 is using today?

Rebooting every time I want to know something about a version I haven't booted is inconvenient.

Test Results:

zcat /dev/nvme0n1p10/usr/share/doc/gnome-session-bin/changelog.Debian.gz | head -n1
gzip: /dev/nvme0n1p10/usr/share/doc/gnome-session-bin/changelog.Debian.gz: Not a directory

Important Note: I do not have 18.04 installed. I have 18.04 Unity installed. I want to know current known version would be installed so I can research bugs before installation.

EDIT: I'm not looking for the Gnome version of the current booted partition (as the duplicate candidate does) using:

$ apt-cache policy gnome-shell
  Installed: (none)
  Candidate: 3.18.5-0ubuntu0.3
  Version table:
     3.18.5-0ubuntu0.3 500
        500 http://ca.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu xenial-updates/universe amd64 Packages
     3.18.4-0ubuntu3 500
        500 http://ca.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu xenial/universe amd64 Packages

I'm looking for the gnome version for a partition that needs to be mounted first (18.04). Or simply a link to a website containing the current version numbers as of today for 14.04, 16.04, 18.04, etc.

  • 2
    "simply a link to a website containing the current version numbers as of today for 14.04, 16.04, 18.04, etc." ... that's pretty much what the second answer to the dupe is.
    – muru
    Aug 15, 2018 at 14:22
  • gnome-shell --version
    – Aravind
    Aug 19, 2018 at 8:06
  • @Aravind Two problems: 1. Gnome Shell isn't installed on my 16.04.5 LTS which I've booted with so command doesn't work. 2. I want to know which version is available for 18.04 and I would like to mount that partition without rebooting machine. Aug 19, 2018 at 14:09
  • Does askubuntu.com/a/340635/175814 not achieve what you want? Aug 19, 2018 at 23:22
  • @DavidFoerster Your link hits the nail on the head. Thank you. (I also believe this is what Muru was referring to a few days ago). Aug 19, 2018 at 23:26

1 Answer 1


TLDR: Ubuntu 18.04 LTS uses GNOME 3.28 and Ubuntu 16.04 LTS uses GNOME 3.18.

If you have installed GNOME as deb-packages, then you can visit packages.ubuntu.com and get info about gnome-session-bin:

  • trusty (14.04LTS) (gnome): GNOME Session Manager - Minimal runtime
    3.9.90-0ubuntu12: amd64
  • trusty-updates (gnome): GNOME Session Manager - Minimal runtime
    3.9.90-0ubuntu12.1: amd64
  • xenial (16.04LTS) (gnome): GNOME Session Manager - Minimal runtime amd64
  • xenial-updates (gnome): GNOME Session Manager - Minimal runtime amd64
  • bionic (18.04LTS) (gnome): GNOME Session Manager - Minimal runtime
    3.28.1-0ubuntu2: amd64
  • bionic-updates (gnome): GNOME Session Manager - Minimal runtime
    3.28.1-0ubuntu3: amd64
  • eoan (19.10) (gnome): GNOME Session Manager - Minimal runtime
    3.34.1-1ubuntu2: amd64 arm64 armhf i386 ppc64el s390x
  • focal (20.04LTS) (gnome): GNOME Session Manager - Minimal runtime
    3.36.0-2ubuntu1: amd64 arm64 armhf ppc64el s390x

On installed system you can use one of

dpkg -l gnome-session-bin
apt list gnome-session-bin | grep gnome

or directly view corresponding changelog files:

  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS:

    $ zcat /usr/share/doc/gnome-session-bin/changelog.Debian.gz | head -n1
    gnome-session ( xenial; urgency=medium
  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS:

    $ zcat /usr/share/doc/gnome-session-bin/changelog.Debian.gz | head -n1
    gnome-session (3.28.1-0ubuntu3) bionic; urgency=medium
  • any current Ubuntu (to be mounted):

    sudo mount /dev/sdXY /mnt
    zcat /mnt/usr/share/doc/gnome-session-bin/changelog.Debian.gz | head -n1

For Snap-packaged GNOME you can use snap list (below is example for 18.04 LTS):

$ snap list | grep gnome
gnome-3-26-1604       3.26.0     64    stable/…  canonical  -
gnome-calculator      3.28.1     170   stable/…  canonical  -
gnome-characters      3.28.2     96    stable/…  canonical  -
gnome-logs            3.28.2     34    stable/…  canonical  -
gnome-system-monitor  3.26.0     41    stable/…  canonical  -
  • 1
    So it seems like the answer is. When booted into 16.04, mount 18.04 partition as /mnt/18.04 and then type: zcat /mnt/18.04/usr/share/doc/gnome-session-bin/changelog.Debian.gz | head -n1 Aug 15, 2018 at 10:50
  • Added to the answer. While writing I mean mounting but forget to mention :)
    – N0rbert
    Aug 15, 2018 at 12:29
  • I tested the command and updated my question with results. It was not successful possibly because I'm using Ubuntu Unity 18.04. Thanks. Aug 15, 2018 at 23:03
  • 1
    As they've closed the question as a duplicate (even though I disagree) I'm accepting your answer because 1. it is a good answer and 2. even if a perfect answer is available it can no longer be posted on this closed question. Aug 19, 2018 at 14:11
  • Nominated for reopen. Thank you here and with Caja+Nautilus :)
    – N0rbert
    Aug 19, 2018 at 14:30

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.