535

How can I check my current Ubuntu version through the command-line and GUI?

1
  • 1
    Since this came up in my search first I'll post one alternative: checking /etc/apt/sources.list and seeing what repo it's pulling from. This was the only way I could figure out what Ubuntu image I was running inside of a docker run -it --rm which apparently doesn't install lsb_release
    – Bratchley
    Nov 7 '17 at 16:10
643

As said in the official page, use:

lsb_release -a

Your version appears on the "Description" line. If you just want that line, type lsb_release -d.

If you want to check it through your desktop environment, you can check System Settings → Details, which shows the data like this:

Display of "System Settings → Details"

Alternatives are:

  • hostnamectl
  • cat /etc/*ease

See a sample output of lsb_release, hostnamectl, and cat /etc/*ease calls:

$ lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS          # <-- here
Release:    16.04
Codename:   xenial

$ lsb_release -d
Description:    Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS
$ hostnamectl 
   Static hostname: XXX
         Icon name: computer-desktop
           Chassis: desktop
        Machine ID: 3d6dcfdd7b9f41dbb62b0e8cd75014ae
           Boot ID: 4ff04a6baed54e719592f3255005a235
  Operating System: Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS                # <-- here
            Kernel: Linux 4.10.0-38-generic
      Architecture: x86-64
$ cat /etc/*ease
DISTRIB_ID=Ubuntu
DISTRIB_RELEASE=16.04
DISTRIB_CODENAME=xenial
DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="Ubuntu 16.04.2 LTS"  # <--- here
NAME="Ubuntu"
VERSION="16.04.2 LTS (Xenial Xerus)"
ID=ubuntu
ID_LIKE=debian
PRETTY_NAME="Ubuntu 16.04.2 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
13
  • 77
    why is it this weird command? I can't ever remember it. Why not something like os -v. Its sort of annoying. Dec 16 '16 at 7:07
  • 6
    Seems like the 80's had a lot of good things, including simple and easy to remember UNIX commands! May 4 '17 at 11:01
  • 11
    Ah, in good ol' plain DOS it was simply ver
    – kap
    May 13 '17 at 15:45
  • 28
    Ubuntu's official LTS Docker image (ubuntu:xenial) does not have lsb_release; I had to parse /etc/os_release as noted in another answer. Sep 16 '17 at 4:24
  • 8
    @CharlieParker According to man lsb_release, LSB stands for Linux Standard Base. Sep 18 '17 at 9:19
232

Use:

cat /etc/*release

In my case it produced the following output:

DISTRIB_ID=LinuxMint
DISTRIB_RELEASE=17.2
DISTRIB_CODENAME=rafaela
DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="Linux Mint 17.2 Rafaela"
NAME="Ubuntu"
VERSION="14.04.3 LTS, Trusty Tahr"
ID=ubuntu
ID_LIKE=debian
PRETTY_NAME="Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS"
VERSION_ID="14.04"
HOME_URL="http://www.ubuntu.com/"
SUPPORT_URL="http://help.ubuntu.com/"
BUG_REPORT_URL="http://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/"
9
  • 13
    cat /etc/lsb-release
    – user4381
    Dec 6 '16 at 17:35
  • 3
    On current mint releases /etc/upstream-release/lsb-releasemight be of interest as well.
    – cheffo
    Apr 17 '17 at 19:26
  • 12
    This works everywhere I tested. lsb_release doesn't work on all versions. for example in Ubuntu 16.04 on Docker.
    – Jay
    Jun 3 '17 at 7:11
  • 3
    In my experience this is a more robust approach, some distributions will not have the lsb_release command
    – RutgerH
    Sep 27 '17 at 12:23
  • 1
    worked on my docker image Mar 9 '18 at 9:32
60

Use this in the terminal to show the details about the installed Ubuntu "version":

lsb_release -a

This may be more verbose than you need - maybe you just wanted to see 15.4? It can be shown separately by the option -r (--release):

$ lsb_release -r
Release:        15.04

Add -s (--short) for use in a script:

$ lsb_release -r -s
15.04

See the further examples for the more useful options -c (--codename) and -d (--description), and both combined:

$ lsb_release -c
Codename:       vivid
$ lsb_release -d
Description:    Ubuntu 15.04
$ lsb_release -dc
Description:    Ubuntu 15.04
Codename:       vivid



Note you can get similar information about the currently running kernel, and the hardware by the similar command:

$ uname -a
Linux mybox 3.19.0-31-generic #36-Ubuntu SMP Wed Oct 7 15:04:02 UTC 2015 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
2
  • 1
    lsb_release -r -s was what i was looking for, thanks Dec 28 '17 at 11:56
  • 1
    lsb_release -rs and lsb_release -cs are very useful in scripts. Jun 27 '18 at 3:08
12

Executing this in Terminal will give you all of the information you could possibly need:

lsb_release -a

And you can access it in the GUI by going System Settings > Details:

enter image description here

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.