How To Check Linux Version

Understanding which version of Linux you are using is very important, especially when installing new packages, performing system updates, or troubleshooting issues. In this post, we will guide you through the steps you need to follow to check your Linux version.

Method 1: Using the lsb_release command

One of the most straightforward ways to determine your Linux version is by using the lsb_release command. This command displays certain LSB (Linux Standard Base) and distribution-specific information.

$ lsb_release -a

This command will output information about your Linux distribution including its ID, codename, release, and description.

Method 2: Checking the /etc/os-release file

Another reliable way to check your Linux distribution and version is by looking at the /etc/os-release file. This file contains operating system identification data, and it should be present on any modern Linux system.

$ cat /etc/os-release

Running this command will display a list of parameters related to your Linux distribution, including the NAME, VERSION, and ID.

Method 3: Using the uname command

The uname command can help you find the version of the Linux kernel your system is running. By adding the -r option, you can display the kernel release.

$ uname -r

The output of this command will be the version of the Linux kernel your system is currently using.

Method 4: Using the hostnamectl command

For systemd-based Linux distributions, you can use the hostnamectl command to check your Linux version.

$ hostnamectl

This command will give you detailed system information including the operating system, kernel, architecture, and more.

With these simple steps, you can quickly and easily determine which version of Linux you are running. Always remember to check your Linux version before performing system updates or installing new packages, as this can help avoid potential compatibility issues.


There you have it! These are the most common ways to check your Linux version. Which method you prefer could depend on the information you need or the distribution you are using. Regardless of the method, being able to check your Linux version is a basic but essential skill for any Linux user.