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Check Ubuntu Version

If it’s your first time using Ubuntu, we highly recommend checking Ubuntu version updates and releases before diving into the system.

Learning how to check Ubuntu version system updates is vital when you want to install additional programs or troubleshoot issues occurring in your system.

If you’re running an outdated Ubuntu version, you could be limited to certain functions that will prove useful to you later on.

That’s why we’ve created this article to show you how to check Ubuntu version updates and releases through your graphical interface or terminal line.

Getting Started

Before we hop into how to check your Ubuntu version, check these prerequisites or requirements off your list first:

  • Command-line/Terminal window access
  • Ubuntu system (Preferably Ubuntu 16.04 version or higher)
  • Sudo privileges

As mentioned earlier, an outdated Ubuntu version limits you to certain functions in the command line or terminal window.

Ubuntu 16.04 or higher should grant you access to most commands in the terminal window. Just to be sure, you can update your Ubuntu version to the most recent release: Ubuntu 18.04 LTS Bionic Beaver.

Apart from making sure your system is updated to Ubuntu 18.04, having root or sudo privileges is a key prerequisite to executing administrative commands.

You won’t be able to check your Ubuntu version if you don’t have root access, and instead, the terminal window or command line will prompt an error message.

With all the prerequisites covered, you’re now ready to begin. To check your Ubuntu version, we can do this in two ways: through the graphical interface on any desktop environment or through the command line.

How to Check Your Version of Ubuntu Using Graphical Interface

Learning how to check Ubuntu version updates through the graphical interface is simple to do. In just 3 steps, you’ll be able to identify the version of Ubuntu currently installed in your system.

Step 1: Open your system settings window

To do this, you can select the “Activities” tab in the top left corner, or you can open system settings by clicking on the setting icon.

Step 2: Click on the “Details” tab

Once you’re in the system settings window, click the “Details” tab, which you’ll find below the “Devices” tab.

The “Details” section should display the version of Ubuntu you have installed along with other information such as Graphics, OS type, Memory, etc.

How to Check Ubuntu Version Through the Command Line

There are several ways to check your Ubuntu version on the command line, however, we recommend using the lsb_release command.

The lsb_release command displays Linux Standard Base information of the Linux distribution. Using this command is also applicable to any desktop environment or Ubuntu version you have installed.

To check Ubuntu version through the command line, follow these steps:

First, open the command line by hitting “Ctrl + Alt + T.” This should open the terminal window, or you can also click on the terminal icon for convenience.

Afterward, type the command:

lsb_release -a

This should present you with your Ubuntu version along with other information such as Ubuntu ID, Ubuntu description, release, and codename. The output will be as follows:

No LSB modules are available

Distributor ID: Ubuntu

Description: Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

Release: 18.04

Codename: Bionic

In the “Description: Ubuntu” section, you’ll notice an LTS beside the 18.04. This means Long-Term Support and means it’s a major version that will be supported for over 10 years.

If you don’t want to see all this information, as shown above, we can use the same command but with the -d option:

lsb_release -d 

The information presented will only show the description of your Ubuntu version.

Alternative Commands to Check Ubuntu Version

Apart from the lsb_release option, you can also use the etc lsb release command, which will also show the same information as presented using the lsb_release -a command.

For this alternative option, we’ll be using cat etc lsb to check your Ubuntu version:

cat /etc/lsb-release

If you want more information when checking your Ubuntu version, we remove the lsb and replace it with an (*) instead, which will give us cat etc (*) release.

To check your Ubuntu version with this command, open your terminal with Ctrl + Alt + T and then type:

cat /etc/*release

Final Thoughts

We hope this guide was able to help you understand how to check the version of your Ubuntu on your system!

We recommend installing the latest release update of Ubuntu. For more information about the most recent releases, you can check the Ubuntu Releases page.