How To Find Your Ubuntu or Kernel Version

By | 2007/01/27

Update: There is an updated version of this post available here: Find your Ubuntu kernel version.

To make up for not blogging over the past few weeks I’ve got a few things up my sleeve here. I definitely want to get back into my old habit so I’ll just dive right in.

This tutorial will outline a few methods of finding your installed Ubuntu version or kernel version. These can be useful if you ever need to troubleshoot a problem or need more information for a bug submission.

The first method you can use is a GUI method to see what version you have installed. Personally I think it could be made a bit more prominent, but that isn’t my call. To find the version using the GUI method simply do the following:

System > About Ubuntu

The resulting window will show some main contents and then thank you for your interest in version.

ubuntu version from about page “Thank you for your interest in Ubuntu 6.10 – the Edgy Eft – released in October 2006.”

The other method to find your version is a command line method. There are two commands you can use:

cat /etc/issue

or you can use

cat /etc/lsb-release

Ubuntu kernel version

…and finally to find your kernel version and a few more details about your machine use the uname command which, per the man pages, shows system information. Examples:

uname -a : print all information
uname -r : print the kernel release
uname -v : print the kernel version
uname -o : print the operating system

See man uname for more details on using the uname command and now you should be able to find out more about your machine, report better bugs and continue to make Ubuntu even better!

40 thoughts on “How To Find Your Ubuntu or Kernel Version

  1. Jucato

    I’d just like to add that the lsb_release command does the same as cat /etc/lsb-release, with some added features like formatting and showing only the stuff you need.

    “lsb_release -a” – will show you all information about your Ubuntu version.

    “lsb_release -h” – will show you other options that you can use with the lsb_release command, like showing only the codename, or the release nubmer, etc.

    Btw, great job on providing these tutorials. Now that it’s on the Planet, I’m sure a lot of people will find these extra useful.

    Reply
  2. Jonas

    In addition to the above, I believe that lsb_release is actually a part of LSB, whereas /etc/lsb-release is not.

    Reply
  3. Han

    Thanks for the great information!

    Just do not know what “lsb” in “lsb-release” stands for.

    Reply
  4. Ravindra Tripathi

    How to find out which version of Ubuntu is installed, 32 bit or 64 bit?

    Reply
  5. Ravindra Tripathi

    I mean to say, how to find out whether the Ubuntu installed on my system is a 32bit or a 64bit version?

    Reply
  6. Clint

    lsb-release does not work for me (I get “bash: lsb-release: command not found”). But if I do “sudo apt-get install lsb-release” it says it is already installed and up to date. Weird.

    Reply
  7. Russianspi

    Clint – you need to use lsb_release instead of lsb-release . The command will not work with a dash, it needs an underscore.

    Reply
  8. Ziphyre

    Ravindra :
    Look for a /lib64 folder. Maybe that can help.

    Reply
  9. zendance

    That version package is awesome!
    I just installed it. It told me I was running 32-bit and even gave me help text so I could tell whether I was running 64-bit or 32-bit. This needs to be part of the base Ubuntu install.

    Reply
  10. peperoni

    These developeres have such strange ideas!!!

    Linux standard base release: lsb_release

    instead of distro, version, linux-version, linux-distro

    and then in the description:

    lsb_release – print distribution-specific information

    OH my!!!

    Reply
  11. tjustleft

    Thanks. That was just what I was looking for. I am new to Ubuntu and never thought I would be a Linux user.

    I tried "lsb_release -a" but had to capitalize change -a to -A for it to work :)

    Reply
  12. Luca

    Just for info, another way to find out if you're 32 or 64bit is

    uname -m

    Cheers!

    Reply
  13. Luca

    Just for info, another way to find out if you're 32 or 64bit is

    uname -m

    Cheers!

    Reply
  14. spuffler

    I'd rather tell Synaptic/whatever to stop storing kernels from 5 revisions ago. Actually, no, I meant to say: "Who thinks I need to have this as a default setting under Ubuntu Netbook Remix 9.10?".

    Reply
  15. Azoor

    $sudo lshw

    it will show all about your System…
    i mean OS Kernel version..
    OS bit version..
    And CPU bit version…

    Reply
  16. Rodney

    zendance :That version package is awesome! I just installed it. It told me I was running 32-bit and even gave me help text so I could tell whether I was running 64-bit or 32-bit. This needs to be part of the base Ubuntu install.

    Old reply, but thanks.. :)
    BTW, it still works on Newer versions of ubuntu like lucid.

    Reply
  17. Alex

    Thx for all informations coz its really helped me..

    Reply
  18. Paul

    For others (I know old post), but in response to Rodney: look up alias in shell commands. You can make almost any command you want, even overwrite system command names. I use alias for fun things like showdir {ls -al | grep drw} …. less typing (yes I may forget the switches, but for me it’s about getting it done quickly …) You could alias lsb_release to “showver” or “ver” or alias lshw to “fullver”.

    Reply
  19. laringo

    Another way, from 2 starting points:

    a) From the web browser’s address bar: ghelp:about-ubuntu
    b) From the run dialog (Alt + F2): gnome-help ghelp:about-ubuntu

    Both of them have the same effect as using the Main menu->System->About Ubuntu:

    They open the “Display application and GNOME system help” in a page giving the same information as https://help.ubuntu.com/xxxxxx/about-ubuntu/C/index.html (xxxxxx may be 9.10 or 10.04 or 10.10 …….) (in the language in which you are using Ubuntu).

    My question is: in which folder of the filesystem is this help page stored?

    Reply
  20. laringo

    The answer to my question:
    /usr/share/gnome/help-langpack/about-ubuntu

    … then the folder of the language your Ubuntu uses
    … then open the file about-ubuntu.xml

    Reply
  21. husaragi

    i think im starting to hate ubuntu. why cant we just refer to releases by version number….theres really not much that annoys me more than looking for help with ubuntu and finding posts like “got it working great in jaunty”.

    please….wtf version is jaunty? i dont keep a running tab in my head to correlate ubuntu versions to their appropriate animal. jfc….this is really…..screw it. im just going back to freebsd.

    Reply
  22. husaragi

    @ Rodney

    seee…my point exactly….lucid? how about newer versions like x.xx so we know wtf youre talking about. stupid naming system.

    Reply
  23. Cadfikle

    @husaragi: in the 1st screenshot you can read both 6.10 and Edgy Eft. More info:
    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Releases
    http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/releases/
    http://releases.ubuntu.com/

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    To know if the installed Ubuntu is of 32 or 64 bits:
    uname -m
    If it shows i686 or i386 it means 32 bits.
    If it shows x86_64 it means 64 bits.

    If the CPU is of 32 bits Ubuntu must be of 32 bits.
    If the CPU is of 64 bits it can work in 64 or 32 bits. So we can choose: Ubuntu can be of 32 bits or of 64 bits.

    To know if the CPU is of 32 or 64 bits:
    a) grep -w lm /proc/cpuinfo
    If we see lm in red is of 64 bits. Otherwise is of 32 bits.
    b) sudo lshw | grep “description: CPU” -A 12 | grep width
    It says clearly what we want to know.

    Reply
  24. Cadfikle

    Another way to know if the installed Ubuntu is of 32 or 64 bits:
    getconf LONG_BIT

    Reply
  25. Hiasop

    volname??

    In the command …
    sudo lshw | grep “description: CPU” -A 12 | grep width
    … the quotation marks have to be vertical so it works.

    Probably they have been converted again in typographic ones. I hope they appear well now (I’m using the HTML code for them: ampersand number sign 34 semicolon):
    sudo lshw | grep "description: CPU" -A 12 | grep width

    Reply
  26. Delete Ricardo's message

    @administrators: volname has nothing to do with the information of this page. Please remove the comment of Ricardo, and this one. Regards

    Reply
  27. NB

    In the command …
    sudo lshw | grep “description: CPU” -A 12 | grep width

    the quotation marks have to be vertical for it to work.

    Probably this time, using the code for them instead of the directly, ampersand-quot-semicolon, it will appear well:
    sudo lshw | grep "description: CPU" -A 12 | grep width

    Reply
  28. doktor_no

    @rai
    LSB is the abbreviation for: “least significant bit”.
    This abbreviation is well known by each programmer.
    That is the reason why no programmer would think the “lsb_release” command would tell you the current version number. (To be mor specific. No programmer would ever imagin for what the command can ever be used.)
    The programmer who wrote this command must be the exception of the rule I mentioned. At leas he doesn’t care for usability or propper use of abbreviations.
    Kind regards, doktor_no.

    Reply
  29. hafiz

    Hallo,
    I would like to mount Zippyboard to my BB Rev. C4 and try connect ethernet from zippy. So i already installed Ubuntu 10.10 with kernel version 2.6.35 on SD card and boot the BeagleBoard from that SD card and everything just fine. So now, to connect the zippy board to my BeagleBoard i actually need to configure the pin mux setting rite?i read this page.http://elinux.org/BeagleBoardPinMux#Pin_Mux_Cross_Reference_Table.but it seem i dont have this file on ubuntu—>arch/arm/mach-omap2/mux.c..So please if you can help me as this actually my final semester project.thanks a lot

    Reply
  30. sherry

    i have here an asus eeePC 4G and this is the info i got when envoking this command uname -a:
    Linux eeepc-Name 2.6.21.4-eeepc #2 Mon Oct 15 12:49:37 EDT 2007 i686 GNU/Linux

    Here are my concern: i want to upgrade the version, is is upgradable? anybody there can suggest what version is suitable for the said pc? if all the answer is yes, then can u suggest me what site where i can download that certain version and you’d anybody there help me or can share me procedure how to upgrade?

    im looking ahead for all ou favorable replies, thank you and God bless you all as always.

    Reply
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