How to Check Ubuntu Version
It is important to know what version of Ubuntu your system is running if you are planning to install software or want to establish what functionalities it may have.
Typically, new versions of Ubuntu are released every six months with major version changes happening every two years. You can view the Ubuntu release log here.
In this tutorial, we will learn how to check what Ubuntu version you have using the command-line.
The lsb_release Utility
To get what version of Ubuntu you have, use the
lsb_release utility. Pass the
-a flag to get the distributor ID, release and codename information in one.
No LSB modules are available. Distributor ID: Ubuntu Description: Ubuntu 16.04.6 LTS Release: 16.04 Codename: xenial
To only show the release number use the
To only show the distribution codename use the
To show a description of the system only, use the
Description: Ubuntu 16.04.6 LTS
Check the /etc/issue File
All Ubuntu systems have a
/etc/issue file, which contains a description of the system. This can be a handy alternative way of checking your Ubuntu version without using
lsb_release. In the example below, we are using the
cat command to display the contents of
Ubuntu 16.04.6 LTS \n \l
Check the /etc/os-release File
Ubuntu versions 16.04 and above have a
/etc/os-release file which contains detailed information about the system. We can use the
cat command to get the contents of the
/etc/os-release file like this:
NAME="Ubuntu" VERSION="16.04.6 LTS (Xenial Xerus)" ID=ubuntu ID_LIKE=debian PRETTY_NAME="Ubuntu 16.04.6 LTS" VERSION_ID="16.04" HOME_URL="http://www.ubuntu.com/" SUPPORT_URL="http://help.ubuntu.com/" BUG_REPORT_URL="http://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/" VERSION_CODENAME=xenial UBUNTU_CODENAME=xenial
Use hostnamectl to See Ubuntu Version
Another way to see the Ubuntu version is by using the
hostnamectl command. This command is used for changing the system hostname but also contains a description of the system.
Static hostname: alice Icon name: computer-vm Chassis: vm Machine ID: 466af0b5c0394fe49827732fcafd05cc Boot ID: ce14b80ea3044000b9e87741ee48c615 Virtualization: kvm Operating System: Ubuntu 16.04.6 LTS Kernel: Linux 4.4.0-190-generic Architecture: x86-64
In this tutorial, we have looked at several different ways of revealing what release of Ubuntu you are running.