How to check the Ubuntu version

Ubuntu is one of the most popular Linux distributions developed and maintained by Canonical Ltd. The distribution receives regular updates, including a stable version every six months and an LTS version every two years. Each Ubuntu version has a unique version number.

This guide will show you how to check the version of Ubuntu installed on your system.

Ubuntu version

Ubuntu has two types of releases: stable and LTS. Most of the time, LTS (Long-Term Support) releases are prioritized. This is the “enterprise grade” version of Ubuntu, which will be supported until the next LTS version. They are not supported that long on normal stable releases.

Now we’re going to talk about the Ubuntu version numbering. Ubuntu version numbers follow the structure “YY.MM”. For example, Ubuntu 18.04 was released in April 2018.

For a better and deeper understanding of the Ubuntu release cycle, visit the official Ubuntu page on release cycles. There are several tools you can use to check the version of the current Ubuntu installation you are currently using. Depending on the user interface of the tool, this function is divided into two categories: CLI (Command-Line Interface) and GUI (Graphical User Interface).

Ubuntu version with CLI. check


The lsb_release function is a dedicated tool that ships with Ubuntu (and various other distributions) for reporting distribution-specific information.

Run the following command to check the Ubuntu version. This command returns a full report on your system.

$ lsb_release -a

If the more detailed report is of no interest to you, use the -d flag to narrow it down to the system version only. To do this, enter the following command:

$ lsb_release -D


Neofetch is a lightweight and customizable bash script for getting system information. Compared to lsb_release, neofetch’s output is livelier and more charming. In addition, neofetch offers a variety of options to adapt the reported information.

First install neofetch on Ubuntu. It’s available directly from the standard Ubuntu repositories.

$ sudo apt update && sudo suitable To install neofetch -and

Start neofetch.

$ neofetch

Do you want to change the ASCII distribution symbol? Use the flag “–ascii_distro” followed by the target distribution as follows:

$ neofetch –ascii_distro SteamOS

If the ASCII image is not important to you, you can remove it from the output.

$ neofetch –the end

There are tons of options available that neofetch supports. If you are interested, you can have a look at the Neofetch customization wiki on GitHub.

Screen retrieval

Similar to neofetch, screenfetch is another tool that uses bash scripts to report information about your system. In contrast to Neofetch, however, Screenfetch offers fewer features. If simplicity is what you’re looking for, screenfetch is probably the way to go.

Like neofetch, screenfetch is also available in the standard Ubuntu repositories. Start the terminal and install screenfetch.

$ sudo apt update && sudo suitable To install Screen retrieval -and

Start the screen retrieval.

$ Screen retrieval

To remove the ASCII distribution logo, use the “-n” flag.

$ Screen retrieval -n

To get only the ASCII distribution logo as output, use the “-L” flag.

$ Screen retrieval -L

System files

There are also certain files that contain information about the system. The contents of these files contain information about the Linux distribution that you are running on your system.

The / etc / issue file contains a text for system identification. The first part of the content is what we’re going to look at. Run the following command to get the / etc / issue file:

$ cat /Etc/output

Another file to check out is the / etc / os-release file. This file contains a lot of information about the system. However, it is only available on Ubuntu 16.04 or newer systems.

$ cat /Etc/os-release


The hostnamectl command is a tool for querying and changing the system host name and related settings. However, this command can also be used to check the version of Ubuntu that your system is running. For this method to work, you must be running Ubuntu 16.04 or a later version on your system.

In the terminal, issue the following command:

$ hostnamectl

Check Ubuntu version with GUI

If you’re not interested in running commands in the terminal, don’t worry! GNOME has been the standard desktop environment since Ubuntu 18.04. GNOME provides a very easy way to check system information.

First start GNOME “Settings”.

Scroll down in the left pane and select Info.

Everything you need to know about your system, including what version of Ubuntu it is currently running, should be found here.

Final thoughts

While the Ubuntu distribution is updated every few months or years, the individual packages that make up the distribution are updated more frequently. It is important to keep your Ubuntu system up to date with the latest stable packages. This ensures the best system stability and security. Learn how to upgrade all packages on Ubuntu here.


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