How to Tell Which Versions of Ubuntu You’re Running (Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 | 18.10)

For students and new users learning how to use Ubuntu 16.04 | 18.04 or 18.10, it might be a good idea to find out which version of Ubuntu they’re running. Finding out the version of Ubuntu might save you time and headache down the road.

This brief tutorial shows students and new users how to check or find out the Ubuntu version curently being used. They may also notice that there are several ways to find out — from the command line terminal to the desktop interface.

The important thing to remember is that Ubuntu normal releases come out every 6 months, while LTS (Long Term Support) releases occur every two years. LTS versions are supported for 5 years on both desktop and the server, and standard releases are supported for 9 months.When you’re ready to find out Ubuntu versions, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Using Ubuntu Terminal

To find out the versons of Ubuntu being used via the command line terminal, one option is go use the lsb_release utility. LSB (Linux Standard Base) is a utility that provides information about Linux distribution.

This utility is the preferred method to use. it works across the board.  no matter which desktop environment or Ubuntu version you are running. To use the utility, open your terminal by typing Ctrl — Alt — T on your keybaord to open the terminal. Then type the commands below:

lsb_release -a

That should output similar info sheet below:

No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description: Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS
Release: 18.04
Codename: bionic

That gives you the version of Ubuntu and the release number.

You can also use the -d switch to only display the description with the lsb_release command.

Another way to find out Ubuntu version is via the issue or the os-release file

cat /etc/issue

That should output the line below:

Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS \n \l

The issue file contains the operating system identification text.

Anternatively, you may look in the /etc/os-release file to learn find out Ubuntu info. That file contains more operating system identification data.

cat /etc/os-release

That shoud ouput the lines below:

VERSION="18.04.1 LTS (Bionic Beaver)"
PRETTY_NAME="Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS"

The hostnamectl command also shows you info about Ubuntu.


That should ouput the info sheet below:

Static hostname: ubuntu1804
Icon name: computer-vm
Chassis: vm
Machine ID: 723d307eadfb48cc9b4a52500e1d2b42
Boot ID: 60f6bac404b242c48df33ce2dedb2b4f
Virtualization: oracle
Operating System: Ubuntu 18.04.1 LTS
Kernel: Linux 4.15.0-36-generic
Architecture: x86-64

These are some of the many ways to find out Ubuntu version number from the command line.

Step 2: Using Ubuntu Desktop Interface

To find out Ubuntu version number and system details from the desktop interface, logon to the desktop and go to the Settings option in the top right corner.

ubuntu dns change

Then navigate to the Details –> About

Ubuntu details information

That’s should do it!

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