I'm now on desktop Ubuntu 15.10 and I have some bootable USB drive. I'm pretty sure, that on the stick is installed another Ubuntu system, but I can't remember which version it is. Can I find it somewhere in files on this USB, or with some command?

I don't want to reboot only for this check.


5 Answers 5


If its from unetbootin, then the lines at the end of ubnfilel.txt tells which version it installs.

  • It doesn't look like this is a stable answer, I was unable to find the ubuntu version in that file.
    – rosch
    Mar 5, 2019 at 9:41

If there is a folder dists, the name of the subfolder might help you to identify the version. For instance if there is xenial then the version is 16.04 -- see: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Releases

  • I have the same question. That file ends with preseed/cli.seed preseed/ltsp.seed preseed/xubuntu.seed I only use unetbootin, but possibly I was given this stick. Jun 6, 2018 at 8:31
  • This helped me, I saw a focal folder in the dists folder. Thanks!
    – kas
    Nov 12, 2020 at 17:18

The name of the subfolder under /dists is a good start. Even better, look beyond the directory name as the directory itself may contain more specific information. For example, if the release is xenial, then in /dists/xenial/Release you will find lines like: "Version: 16.04", "Description: Ubuntu Xenial 16.04", "Architectures: amd64 i386". In this case, that probably came from the ISO file ubuntu-16.04-desktop-amd64.iso rather than ubuntu-16.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso or ubuntu-16.04.2-desktop-amd64.iso, so it is out of date. ubnfile1.txt (mentioned in another answer), on the other hand, wasn't terribly helpful. It did not contain the "!6.04" anywhere but it did have xenial in a few paths, such as /dists/xenial/release


If ubnfilel.txt doesn't work for you, here are two more files to check:

  1. file .disk/info: Ubuntu 16.04 LTS "Xenial Xerus" - Release amd64 (20160420.1)
  2. file README.diskdefines, first line: #define DISKNAME Ubuntu 16.04 LTS "Xenial Xerus" - Release amd64
  3. file dists/<release name>/Release, first 5 lines: Origin: Ubuntu Label: Ubuntu Suite: xenial Version: 16.04 Codename: xenial

The folders .disk, dists and the file README.diskdefines are to be found at the root of the USB drive.


After I read some of the recomendations here, I did grep -ri bionic on the root folder of the USB.

I've found a folder .disk on my 18.04 live Kubuntu USB. There is a file named "info" inside which has the following text:

Kubuntu 18.04.1 LTS "Bionic Beaver" - Release amd64 (20180725)

This is great because I wanted to know what is the specific "subversion" of the Ubuntu installation (I knew that it was 18.04 but didn't knew if I needed to upgrade it to 18.04.4).

I do not remember how I made this USB and do not know if this folder is present dependable on the method of creating the USB. So try it yourslef and see.

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