Introduction

Ubuntu is a free, open-source Linux operating system, which has several release numbers.

Finding out which Ubuntu version is running on your system can be important when troubleshooting issues or searching for installation guides. Also, it is essential to ensure you are not using a version which is outdated if you want to keep your computer security risks.

In this tutorial, learn how to check the Ubuntu version running on your operating system.

tutorial on checking the version of Ubuntu

Prerequisites

  • A system running Ubuntu
  • Access to a user account with sudo or root privileges
  • A terminal window/command line (CtrlAltT)

There are two (2) simple ways to determine the Ubuntu version installed on your server. Option 1 includes using the Unity graphical interface, while Option 2 uses the terminal window. Choose the one that fits your preference.

Option 1: Check Ubuntu Version from Unity

You can easily find information about the Ubuntu version running on your system through the graphical interface.

1. First, select Activities in the top left corner.

2. In the search bar, enter Settings and click on the icon once it appears in the results.

find settings in ubuntu

3. In the System Settings window, click on the Details tile.

system settings details

The Details section displays which Ubuntu version number you have, along with other information about your operating system.

ubuntu version details

The image above is an example of the Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS (codenamed Bionic Beaver). LTS is an acronym that stands for Long-Term Support, meaning it is the latest stable version.

Other Ubuntu LTS releases include:

  • Ubuntu 16.04 (Xenial Xerus)
  • Ubuntu 14.04 (Trusty Tahr)

Option 2: Check Ubuntu Version from Terminal

If you prefer using the terminal, you can determine the Ubuntu version installed on your server three (3) different ways.

  1. Open the terminal, using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+T.
  2. Type in the following command and hit Enter:
lsb_release –a

check ubuntu version from terminal

The output shows you the current version of Ubuntu. In the example seen in the image below, it is Ubuntu 18.04 (codenamed Bionic Beaver).

3. Alternatively, you can use the command:

cat /etc/lsb-release

cat /etc/lsb/release

To find more information about the Ubuntu release, you can also use the command:

cat /etc/*release

find information about ubuntu release

Conclusion

After reading this article, you should know how to check which Ubuntu version you are running. Next, explore or even update the central core of the operating system, the Linux kernel version.