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How to Quickly Check your Ubuntu Version [Easy]

It’s important to stay up to date – both for security and compatibility reasons and because it’s always nice to have the latest features in your Linux Operating System.

To find out which Linux distribution, and version of that distribution you’re using, use one of the below methods on both the server and desktop versions of Ubuntu based systems:

Getting Your Ubuntu Version by reading from the /etc/issue file

Type the following into your terminal to read the contents of the file /etc/issue into your terminal:

cat /etc/issue

You’ll get your Ubuntu version as below:

Ubuntu 20.10

You can also get more information by running:

cat /etc/os-release

Which will print out more detail, like the OS codename.

Getting Your Ubuntu Version with lsb_release

Many Ubuntu installations will let you type:


…into the terminal on desktop or server installations of Ubuntu to get information on the current version. Not all installations will support this as it depends on the lsb_core package being installed, so it’s not really recommended.

If you want to show the version information only, you can pass the -d option:

lsb_release -d

…to display all available information

lsb_release -a
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I'm Brad, and I'm nearing 20 years of experience with Linux. I've worked in just about every IT role there is before taking the leap into software development. Currently, I'm building desktop and web-based solutions with NodeJS and PHP hosted on Linux infrastructure. Visit my blog or find me on Twitter to see what I'm up to.

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