Is it advisable to change/downgrade GNOME shell version from 3.38 to 3.36?

Question in the title. Just looking for a quick answer from a mod or dev.

I want to install and use a particular extension which only supports up to shell version 3.36. I have it installed on the Zorin's default 3.38 and have most of the functionality, so it works.... just the one function I really wanted isn't available. I don't know for sure if installing 3.36 will bring me the function I want, but I was hoping to try.

I am looking for someone to tell me it should or should not be done and the reason why. For instance, "it shouldn't be done because it would break Zorin's [insert package-name or other system function here]."

I was going to use the below method, and would appreciate feedback on whether this is the best way to do what I want or if there is a better/safer way?

  • Remove the GNOME Shell 3.38 package:

    • sudo apt remove gnome-shell
  • Add the GNOME Shell 3.36 repository to your package manager sources.list file:

    • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-desktop/gnome-3-36
  • Update the package manager's cache:

    • sudo apt update
  • Install the GNOME Shell 3.36 package:

    • sudo apt install gnome-shell=3.36.9-1ubuntu1~20.04.2

I see that there aren't too many improvements that mean much to me based on what I found regarding main differences between the versions in question:

  1. Redesigned application grid: The application grid in the Activities Overview was redesigned to make it more visually appealing and easier to navigate.

  2. New welcome tour: GNOME Shell 3.38 includes a new welcome tour to help new users get started with the desktop environment.

  3. Updated settings application: The Settings application was updated with a refreshed design and new features.

  4. Integrated screenshot tool: A new built-in screenshot tool was added to GNOME Shell 3.38, allowing users to capture screenshots of their desktop and specific windows without having to install additional software.

  5. Improved performance: GNOME Shell 3.38 includes performance improvements, including faster animations and reduced memory usage.

  6. New GNOME extensions: GNOME Shell 3.38 includes several new extensions, including a weather extension and a Pomodoro timer.

This looks like one of those trial and error scenarios. It's probably worth just spinning a new virtual machine and just do it there, see how the system reacts to it.

If you don't mind sharing, what's the extension and what effect in particular are you after? Maybe someone can recommend another extension that has something equivalent and save you the trouble.


Thanks! I didn't even consider virtual machine testing. Great suggestion and will probably go that route when I get some time to fiddle around with the OS again.

Cast to TV :: Extensions Website Link
Cast to TV - Desktop Addon :: Extension Addon Website Link

That extension is for casting the GNOME DE to a chromecast device for larger screen viewing/secondary screen joining. Just like if you were to hook up an HDMI connection to your HDMI capable television.

I have trouble focusing on the smaller screen of my laptop and also prefer large screens which can display much more information side-by side. I do a lot of writing and researching for content to implement in my stories/writing project.

I would be interested to know if there's some built-in function (which works) that I'm missing. Or, if there is another extension or application package install process I can try as an alternative. Thank you for taking an interest!

I'm afraid that's something I've been struggling with myself.

I attempted to set it up a while back using Network Displays (available as flatpak, installed by default in ZorinOS Pro) but I couldn't get it to work. Unfortunately I still didn't have the time to try the suggestion by Aravisian as it's not in my home, but maybe some of them may help you.

More people have had luck with that than I, it seems. I can't even get the Network Displays to load correctly as it freezes & kills my network connection. I've already posted a reply to an old thread detailing the same issues that were happening with another user in one of the other posts here on this forum.

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