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?

  • Also related: askubuntu.com/questions/5675/… Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 8:31
  • None of the GUI answers are applicable to Ubuntu Studio. Does this mean it would not be a duplicate question to pose it again but specify that the answer be for Ubuntu Studio? Commented Oct 6, 2016 at 3:51
  • I'm using Linux Mint and 'cat /etc/linuxmint/info' works too. Commented Mar 18, 2019 at 14:17

16 Answers 16


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]

  • 21
    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.) Commented Jul 21, 2012 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

  • 1
    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
    Commented Jan 8, 2012 at 0:35
  • 11
    The user asked for a terminal command. Providing a GUI answer is a bonus, not a priority. :)
    – htorque
    Commented Jan 8, 2012 at 8:47
  • 3
    no longer relevant. The tab has been removed.
    – Anon
    Commented Apr 14, 2014 at 20:37
  • I like this answer better, as that "cat" tells me that I am running 16.04.1 ... whereas the UIs just say 16.04 ...
    – GhostCat
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 15:39

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.

  • 3
    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
    Commented Jul 17, 2012 at 16:54
  • 6
    @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). Commented Jul 21, 2012 at 0:03
  • 3
    Duly upvoted yours and removed my upvote for the other, pretty shocking behaviour
    – icc97
    Commented Jul 21, 2012 at 13:28
  • How do you access this window from the command-line? I'm on Xubuntu and this doesn't seem installed.
    – landroni
    Commented May 7, 2014 at 5:16
  • 1
    @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. Commented May 13, 2014 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.

  • Great! cat /etc/lsb-release is the only variant that also works in the official Ubuntu Docker base image. Commented Jul 26, 2018 at 14:12

Quite a few ways -

On the command line:

  1. lsb_release -a ▸ exact release name, version, etc.
  2. cat /etc/issue ▸ formal release name
  3. cat /etc/issue.net ▸ 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 information about your kernel, when was it compiled, which GCC version has been used, etc.
  6. uname -a ▸ will tell you about your kernel information, plus architecture (i386 ▸ 32 bit, x86_64 ▸ 64 bit)

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

  • 1
    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 Commented May 28, 2015 at 9:28

The command to find ubuntu version is,

lsb_release -a


cat /etc/lsb-release


System > About Ubuntu


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.

  • Will this command differentiate the alpha/beta/prod release?
    – devav2
    Commented Oct 22, 2012 at 8:24

If additionally to the version you want to find out your Ubuntu flavor, run the following:

cat /var/log/installer/media-info 

The output should be something like:

Xubuntu 16.04 LTS "Xenial Xerus" - Release amd64 (20160420.1)

If you also want to be sure about your Desktop Environment, type:


The output should be something like:


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.


This command will also find your installed Ubuntu version,

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


$ awk '/^Description: Ubuntu [0-9]/ {print "Ubuntu",$3; exit;}' /usr/share/python-apt/templates/Ubuntu.info
Ubuntu 14.04
  • A bit complex, but I guess it works. Commented May 13, 2014 at 2:22
  • guess? no, it will surely work. Commented May 13, 2014 at 2:27

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


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 :)!


This works for most of the linux distros.

cat /etc/issue

Run this in a shell.


lsb_release -d

Description:    Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS 

uname -r


Run the following command.

hostnamectl | grep 'Operating System'

This will display which Ubuntu version You are using.

The command hostnamectl alone will give much more informations like hostname, kernel version, architecture, etc.


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 https://help.ubuntu.com/10.04/about-ubuntu/C/index.html (in the language in which you are using Ubuntu)


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