How To Check Ubuntu Version: GUI & Terminal Commands Explained

Discover how to easily check your Ubuntu version through GUI and Terminal Commands. Follow our in-depth guide to navigate your system like a pro!
Jack Wright, Tech Writer | Updated October 7, 2023

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In the world of Linux, Ubuntu stands as a user-friendly and popular choice for both newcomers and experienced users. Whether you are troubleshooting, installing new packages, or just curious, knowing how to check your Ubuntu version can be very useful. This comprehensive guide delves deep, offering insights and actionable tips to check your Ubuntu version using both GUI and terminal commands. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in and equip you with the knowledge you need to navigate your Ubuntu system like a pro.

Finding Your Ubuntu Version: A Quick Start Guide

Before diving deep, here’s a concise guide to help you quickly identify the version of Ubuntu you are running. This segment will be particularly useful if you are looking to find the version swiftly:

Through GUI:

  • Go to the “System Settings”.
  • Click on “Details” to find the version.

Using Terminal Commands:

  • Open the terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T).
  • Type lsb_release -a

Now, let’s explore these methods in depth, including the steps, variations, and tips to ensure a smooth process.

Checking Ubuntu Version through GUI: A Detailed Walkthrough

Navigating through the Graphical User Interface (GUI) is often considered the most straightforward method, especially for those who prefer a graphical representation over command-line instructions. In this section, we will discuss various pathways within the GUI to help you find the Ubuntu version. Let’s begin!

System Settings: Your First Stop

Initially, head over to the system settings. Here, an assortment of information about your system is readily available. To find the Ubuntu version, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the system menu at the top right corner of your screen.
  2. Select “Settings” or “System Settings” from the dropdown menu.
  3. Now, click on the “Details” tab which would display various details about your system including the Ubuntu version.

Gear Icon: Another Quick Path

Apart from the system settings, you can also use the gear icon to access the necessary information. Here’s how:

  • Click on the gear icon usually located at the bottom of the system menu.
  • Choose “About This Computer” or “System Details” to view the details including the Ubuntu version.

Diving into Terminal Commands: Your Route to Expertise

For those who are comfortable with command-line operations or looking to develop expertise in it, the terminal serves as a powerful tool to accomplish various tasks, including checking the Ubuntu version. This section unveils the different commands you can use, accompanied by insights on what each command reveals. Let’s get started.

The lsb_release Command: A Comprehensive Start

An excellent beginning point is the lsb_release command, which not only reveals the version but also other details about your Ubuntu system. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Open the terminal by pressing Ctrl+Alt+T or searching for “Terminal” in the system dash.
  2. Type the command: lsb_release -a and press enter.
  3. You will see detailed information including the Distributor ID, Description, Release, and Codename of your Ubuntu version.

This command is beneficial as it gives a comprehensive view of your system details.

The uname Command: Quick Insights

Another quick command to get insights about your Ubuntu version is the uname command. Here are the steps to use it:

  • Open the terminal as previously described.
  • Type uname -a and press enter to reveal information including the kernel version and other system details.
  • If you are looking for just the kernel version, you can type uname -r

Certainly, let’s venture into some advanced commands and utilities which can provide detailed insights about your Ubuntu version.

cat /etc/os-release: Accessing OS Details Directly

This method allows you to access the OS details directly from a system file which contains the relevant data. Here’s how to use this command:

  1. Open your terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T).
  2. Type the command: cat /etc/os-release and press Enter.
  3. The terminal will then display a variety of details about your OS including the NAME, VERSION, ID, and more.

Utilizing this command provides a rich amount of data, aiding in a detailed understanding of the system you are operating.

hostnamectl: Gathering System Information

This command is a part of the systemd package and provides a detailed view of the system’s information, encompassing both the OS and the kernel details. To use this command, follow these steps:

  • Launch the terminal.
  • Enter the command: hostnamectl and press Enter.
  • You will be presented with a detailed output including the Static hostname, Icon name, Machine ID, Boot ID, Operating System, Kernel, and Architecture.

FAQ Section

How Can I Find the Ubuntu Version Using GUI?

Certainly! Finding the Ubuntu version through the GUI is quite straightforward. You can either go to “System Settings” and then click on the “Details” tab to view the version, or click on the gear icon (usually found at the bottom of the system menu) and choose “About This Computer” or “System Details” to find the necessary information.

What Terminal Commands Can I Use to Check the Ubuntu Version?

There are various terminal commands that you can use to check the Ubuntu version. Here are some of the most commonly used commands:

  • lsb_release -a: Displays detailed information including the Distributor ID, Description, Release, and Codename of your Ubuntu version.
  • uname -a: Reveals information such as the kernel version along with other system details.
  • cat /etc/os-release: Allows you to access various details about your OS directly.
  • hostnamectl: Provides an in-depth view of the system information, including both OS and kernel details.

Can I Find the Kernel Version Separately?

Yes, you can find it separately by using the terminal command uname -r. This command will only display the kernel version, helping you pinpoint the exact kernel version your system is running.


By following the outlined steps, not only can you quickly identify your Ubuntu version, but you can also delve deep into other system details, enhancing your overall familiarity and proficiency with Ubuntu. As we part ways, we hope that this guide serves as a valuable resource in your Ubuntu journey, offering insights, actionable tips, and a deep understanding of checking your Ubuntu version.

Remember, whether you choose the GUI pathway or decide to explore the terminal commands, each method comes with its own set of benefits, helping you navigate your Ubuntu system with ease and expertise. Happy exploring!

Published: September 24, 2023 | Updated: October 7, 2023
Tech Writer

Jack is an experienced tech writer & story-teller. He has more than 5 years of technical writing, researching, and editing. At CTHs he works on developing the website`s content strategy, ensuring the quality of all web hosting reviews and guides. In his spare time, Jack self-studying machine learning.

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