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I installed some version of Ubuntu on my VMware, but I don't know what version exactly it is. How can I find it out?

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Also related:… – Bruno Pereira Oct 22 '12 at 8:31

15 Answers 15

up vote 88 down vote accepted

Your version of Ubuntu can be determined by opening System Settings and then opening the System Info or Details (from 12.04) section:

System Info screenshot

This page will also tell you whether you have the 32- or 64-bit version of Ubuntu installed, as well as what processor and graphics you have, the amount of RAM installed, and your disk capacity.

You can get this info from a terminal with the command:

lsb_release -a

Credit in part to htorque and WarriorIng64

[Note: for versions before 11.10, e.g. 11.04 this is not available this way, but see Roland's answer below for workable option (basically use the 'System Monitor' icon instead]

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Please also give me credit, at least for the screenshot, which I took myself and used originally in this answer. (You can verify for yourself that a large part of this answer was a direct copy-and-paste of my answer by looking at the edit logs.) – Christopher Kyle Horton Jul 21 '12 at 0:06

Apart from:

  • lsb_release -a and

  • cat /etc/*release ,

you can also see the version in the GNOME System Monitor (press Alt + F2, type gnome-system-monitor, and hit Enter):

enter image description here

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It's considered bad practice to recommend commandline first when there's a GUI option. Plus, that answer is, like, six months too stale. ;P – Jjed Jan 8 '12 at 0:35
The user asked for a terminal command. Providing a GUI answer is a bonus, not a priority. :) – htorque Jan 8 '12 at 8:47
no longer relevant. The tab has been removed. – Akiva Apr 14 '14 at 20:37

In Ubuntu 11.10 onwards, the version of Ubuntu installed can be found by entering System Settings > System Info (in newer versions like 14.04 LTS, this tab might be called Details instead):

System Info screenshot

This page will also tell you whether you have the 32- or 64-bit version of Ubuntu installed, as well as what processor and graphics you have, the amount of RAM installed, and your disk capacity.

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Perhaps this answer got hijacked by the top answer at some point - but isn't this now just an exact duplicate of the top answer? – icc97 Jul 17 '12 at 16:54
@icc97 Thanks for letting me know. My answer apparently did get "hijacked" (in fact, I made this screenshot myself and it was just taken for the other answer's edit). – Christopher Kyle Horton Jul 21 '12 at 0:03
Duly upvoted yours and removed my upvote for the other, pretty shocking behaviour – icc97 Jul 21 '12 at 13:28
How do you access this window from the command-line? I'm on Xubuntu and this doesn't seem installed. – landroni May 7 '14 at 5:16
@landroni This window is part of GNOME/Unity Control Center, which may not be installed on Xubuntu. You may want to consider asking a separate question for the flavor you are using. – Christopher Kyle Horton May 13 '14 at 2:21
$ lsb_release -r
Release:        10.04
$ lsb_release -c
Codename:       lucid
$ lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 10.04.2 LTS
Release:        10.04
Codename:       lucid
$ cat /etc/lsb-release

"LSB" means Linux Standard Base, a joint project of several Linux distributions. Its goal is to develop and promote a set of open standards that will increase compatibility among Linux distributions.

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Quite a few ways -

In command line:

  1. lsb_release -a ▸ exact release name, version etc.
  2. cat /etc/issue ▸ formal release name
  3. cat /etc/ ▸ cleaner version of previous one
  4. cat /etc/debian_version ▸ will give you the Debian code name
  5. cat /proc/version ▸ will give you quite a lot of info about your kernel, when was it compiled, which gcc version has been used etc.
  6. uname -a ▸ will tell you about your kernel info, plus arch (i386 ▸ 32 bit, x86_64 ▸ 64 bit)

If you like GUI more than command line, the System page on "System Monitor" gnome-system-monitor application should give you more than enough info. Release name, architecture variant, cores in the system, RAM available, and the space available on the root file system.

enter image description here

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The command line commands very handy. Because on one of my server, the lsb_release wasn't getting identified only. It's the uname and cat /etc/issue that helped me. And I realized that it was CentOS. Thanks – Vinod Tigadi May 28 '15 at 9:28

The command to find ubuntu version is,

lsb_release -a


cat /etc/lsb-release


System > About Ubuntu

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You can check it via command line.

  1. Open a Terminal by pressing CTRL+ALT+T.

  2. Type:

    lsb_release -a

    and press Enter.

  3. The Ubuntu version is displayed on the 'Description:' line.

For more details, see here.

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Will this command differentiate the alpha/beta/prod release? – devav2 Oct 22 '12 at 8:24

There are GUI ways of checking but I prefer the Terminal.

To check your Ubuntu version using the command line:

  1. Open a Terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T.
  2. Type: lsb_release -a and press Enter.

The Ubuntu version is displayed on the 'Description:' line.


Identifying the version of Ubuntu you are using.

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Ubuntu Touch

If you are using Ubuntu Touch or have the Ubuntu Touch version of System Settings installed, you can find out more about your version information by tapping/clicking the About this phone button near the bottom. The information displayed may vary depending on the device you are using.

Snapshot of button Snapshot of screen

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To find this information graphically, open the system monitor. The information you want is on the first tab: (NB: You cannot tell what stage of development it is at!) enter image description here

Also note mine is not saying "development branch", so the best way to tell what state your system was at when you installed it, is to know what you download :)!

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This works for most of the linux distros.

cat /etc/issue

Run this in a shell.

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This command will also find your installed Ubuntu version,

awk '/^Description: Ubuntu [0-9]/ {print "Ubuntu",$3; exit;}' /usr/share/python-apt/templates/


$ awk '/^Description: Ubuntu [0-9]/ {print "Ubuntu",$3; exit;}' /usr/share/python-apt/templates/
Ubuntu 14.04
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A bit complex, but I guess it works. – Christopher Kyle Horton May 13 '14 at 2:22
guess? no, it will surely work. – Avinash Raj May 13 '14 at 2:27

just type :

lsb_release -a

And you will get all info about your system which you might need.

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Another way, from 2 starting points:

  1. From the web browser’s address bar: ghelp:about-ubuntu
  2. Run this command (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 such as (in the language in which you are using Ubuntu)

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The simplest way I can think of is:

$ cat /etc/*release
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protected by Avinash Raj May 13 '14 at 2:38

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