Gnome Shell’s extensions have a lot of good to them, but there are downsides as well. The main disadvantage is version checking. While it’s useful for developers, this feature is a plague on users. Mainly because if an extension isn’t updated right away to comply with the new version of Gnome, the system will disable it, causing grief to users just trying to get work done.

In recent versions of Gnome Shell, extension version numbers are less of a problem to users. However, these annoying issues can still arise and are disruptive, so it’s a good idea to disable  version check for Gnome extensions, especially if you need your Gnome extensions to keep working.

Install Dconf

To disable version check for Gnome extensions in Gnome Shell. you need the Dconf editing tool. Before continuing with this guide, you’ll need to install it. Luckily, Dconf editor is readily available on most Linux distributions.

To install it, follow the instructions that match the Linux OS you run.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install dconf-editor

Debian

sudo apt-get install dconf-editor

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S dconf-editor

Fedora

sudo dnf install dconf-editor

OpenSUSE

sudo zypper install dconf-editor

Generic Linux

Dconf editor is one of the main tools that Gnome users can use to modify and tweak the Gnome Shell and other GTK-based desktop environments. As a result, even users on lesser-known Linux distributions should have no issue getting the Dconf editor installed.

In a terminal, search for “Dconf editor” and install it. Can’t find it? Follow the instructions below to download the development source code and build it from source.

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Note: you must have Glib installed, along with Git, Meson, Ninja and the latest GTK to build Dconf-Editor.

Start by cloning the code for Dconf (if you don’t already have it working).

git clone git://git.gnome.org/dconf

Move your terminal into the Dconf folder and create a new build directory.

cd dconf
mkdir build
cd build

meson --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc .. 
sudo ninja install

Compile Dconf and install it to your Linux computer. Then, CD out of the Dconf code folder and clone the Dconf Editor source code.

git clone https://gitlab.gnome.org/GNOME/dconf-editor.git

CD into the dconf-editor code folder.

cd dconf-editor

Using the mkdir command, create a new build sub-folder.

mkdir build

Move into the build folder with the CD command.

cd build

Build Dconf Editor by executing the Meson command.

meson --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc .. 

Install Dconf-Editor to your Linux PC by running the Ninja tool.

sudo ninja install

Disable version check for Gnome extensions

Now that the Dconf editor tool is installed, it’s time to open it up. The quickest way to launch the program is with the Gnome Shell command window. To access the command window, press the Alt + F2 combination on your keyboard. Then, click on the text-area with the mouse and type the following command into it.

dconf-editor

With the command entered in the box, press the Enter key. Doing so will instantly start up Dconf Editor.

Alternatively, launch Dconf Editor by searching for “dconf editor” in the Gnome application search box. Once in Dconf editor, you’ll see a warning window. The window shows a message that says “Don’t forget that some options may break applications, so be careful!”. Acknowledge the warning, and click “I’ll be careful” to dismiss it.

Note: uncheck the box, if you’d like to stop it from popping up in the future.

After dealing with the Dconf warning window, find the “Org” entry and click on it with the mouse. In Org, look for the “Gnome” entry in Dconf and select it. Then, find “shell” in the menu.

All information relating to the Gnome Shell, including settings related to extensions is in the “shell” area. Look through this menu and locate “disable-extension-version-validation.” Select the slider next to the extension validation entry, and set it to “on.” Setting it to the on position will permanently disable version check for Gnome extensions.

With the version check setting disabled in Gnome Shell, you’ll need to restart the session. Close Dconf editor and press Ctrl + F2 like before. In the prompt window, enter:

r

Press the Enter key on the keyboard to refresh and restart the Gnome Shell session. Upon reloading the desktop, any disabled Gnome extensions should be active again.

Disabled version check and still not seeing extensions enabled? Reboot your system. Sometimes this is necessary for Gnome Shell to adapt to the new settings set by Dconf fully.

Update your Gnome extensions

If you’ve gone through this guide to learn how to disable extension version checking, only to find that it didn’t help, you may be better off updating your Gnome extensions instead. Updating Gnome extensions is quite simple, and you can do it right from a web browser.

To update your extensions, head over to the Gnome Shell website and click on the “Installed Extensions” menu item. Then, look through the extension list and click the green arrow icon next to each extension that has an update available.