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This question already has an answer here:

What terminal command tells the version of Ubuntu.

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marked as duplicate by fossfreedom Jul 2 '14 at 21:17

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
@fossfreedom this question is not a duplicate of the question you linked because i am asking how to check using terminal, not the graphical way. remove your concern – Nick Bailuc Jul 2 '14 at 4:39
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The duplicate covers both terminal and graphical. IMHO they are the same question. These probably should be merged. I'll ask some 20K users before making that decision. – fossfreedom Jul 2 '14 at 6:02
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the duplicate does but the question doesnt. when others search for a terminal command and they find the other question, they wount look into it because it doesnt say anything about it in the question description – Nick Bailuc Jul 2 '14 at 21:03
up vote 120 down vote accepted

... or run

lsb_release -d

which should give you the the description including the OS name ("Ubuntu" on an Ubuntu system) and the release number.

lsb_release -c

will give you just the codename (e.g., "precise" for Ubuntu 12.04 LTS).

For the release number only, use

lsb_release -r

For all lsb version details, use

lsb_release -a

EDIT: Thanks Eliah Kagan.

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5  
That gives the codename. for the description including the OS name ("Ubuntu" on an Ubuntu system) and the release number, use lsb_release -d. For the release number only, use lsb_release -r. For all available lsb information, use lsb_release -a. – Eliah Kagan Jun 14 '12 at 19:30
    
Note on 16.04 there it does not work. Getting message instead "No LSB modules are available." – Marcin May 5 at 5:22

This should give you what you want:

cat /etc/lsb-release
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Using lsb_releasejust gives me "No LSB modules are available". This does the trick. – eis Dec 29 '15 at 16:09
    
Use lsb_release -ra – Konrad Gajewski May 2 at 8:36
    
Works on 16.04 unlike lsb_release. – Marcin May 5 at 5:22

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