Want to Check the Version of a Python Package in Linux? Try These 5 Ways Now


Here are the five ways to check the version of a Python package in Linux:

  1. Use pip show requests | grep Version in the Terminal to check the version of a Python package.
  2. Display a list of all installed Python packages and their versions by using pip freeze in the Linux command prompt.
  3. Check the version of a Python package with a script using import package-name and print(package-name.version).
  4. Look into the Python package version in the interpreter by typing import package-name and package-name.version.
  5. Use commands such as apt-cache policy [package_name], dnf info [package_name], or pacman -Qi [package_name] to check the version of a package for specific Linux distributions.

To effectively manage Python packages in Linux, regularly update them, check system requirements via release notes, keep versions record, and manage compatibility issues using a virtual environment or rollback option if necessary. Some common errors that you may face when updating the Python packages include ImportError, PackageNotFoundError, and AttributeError.

Learn all about checking the version of a Python package in Linux with our article here, including expert tips and troubleshooting strategies.

Linux is a popular platform for Python development due to its flexibility, security, and endless customization options. But keeping its packages up-to-date in Linux is essential to run your code smoothly and securely. In this article, I’ll explore how to check the version of Python packages in Linux and provide some best practices for package management.

How to Check the Version of a Python Package in Linux

To check the version of a Python package in Linux, you can use pip or pip freeze commands, scripts, or Python interpreters in the command prompts. Moreover, specific Linux distribution versions can be checked with the appropriate package manager. Let’s explore each of these five methods to check the version of a Python package in Linux here:

1. pip Command

pip is a popular package manager for Python that can be used to install, update, and manage Python packages. Here’s how you can check the version of a Python package using pip in the Terminal:

  1. In the command prompt, execute the following command:
pip show requests | grep Version 
  1. Now, you’ll see the Python package version number installed on your Linux system.
check the version of a python package

2. pip freeze Command

The pip freeze command is a powerful tool for Python developers that allows them to display a list of all installed packages and their versions. This can be extremely useful for keeping track of dependencies and ensuring that your code is using the correct versions of each package. Follow these steps to use the pip freeze command:

  1. Launch the Terminal app, and run the following command:
pip freeze
  1. The Terminal will display a list of all installed packages and their versions. You can scroll through till the end to see more details.
pip freeze installed packages and their versions

3. Python Script

You can also check the version of a package from within a Python script by using the import package-name module and package-name.version attribute. Here’s how to do it:

  1. In the text editor, type the following code:
import package-name

text editor import package name
  1. Save the script with .py extension.
save the script with py extension
  1. Head to the Terminal app, navigate to the directory with the cd command, and run the saved Python script.
run the saved python script
  1. The Terminal app will display the version number of the package.
want to check the version of a python package

4. Python Interpreter

Another way to check the version of a Python package directly is in the Python interpreter. This is useful when you just need to have a quick look into the version number of a package without having to create a separate script for it. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. In the Linux command prompt, execute the following command to open the Python interpreter:
command to open the python interpreter
  1. Once the Python interpreter opens, type the following code:
import package-name

python interpreter opens import package name
  1. Press Enter. Then, the Python interpreter will import the package and display its version.
check the version of a python package interpreter

5. Check the Specific Linux Distribution Python Package Version

Different Linux distributions have different package managers and their versions. So, they have slightly different commands to check them. Here are some ways to check the version of a Python package for a specific Linux distribution:

  • Across all distributions: To check the Python version across all distributions, you can use platform.python_version() in Python code.
  • Debian-based distributions: For Debian-based distributions, such as Ubuntu, use apt-cache policy package_name to check the version of a package.
  • Fedora-based distributions: For Fedora-based distributions, such as Red Hat and CentOS, use dnf info package_name
  • Arch Linux: For Arch Linux, use the pacman -Qi package_name command to check the package version. 

4 Best Practices for Updating Python Packages in Linux

Updating Python packages in Linux is essential to ensure the smooth and secure operation of your Python-based coding projects. You can simply sudo apt update and sudo apt upgrade python3. However, it is important to follow best practices to avoid potential issues. Here are four things to do when updating Python packages in Linux:

  • 💻 Check System Requirements: When updating Python packages, you should also consider the system requirements for the updated packages. Some packages may have specific requirements for hardware, operating system, or other software dependencies. Reviewing the documentation and release notes for the package can help ensure that your system meets the necessary requirements for the updated packages.
  • 📝 Record the package versions: Keeping a record of Python package versions and changes made to them can help you avoid compatibility issues and track down bugs. Use a version control system like Git to manage your code and package versions.
  • 👥 Compatibility issues and rollback plan: Compatibility issues can arise when updating packages, but there are ways to deal with them. Test your code thoroughly after updating. If there is a problem, roll back to an older version with the pip install package-name == version-number command, if necessary, to run your code and minimize the downtime of your Python-based app. Or you can also consider using virtual environments to isolate different package versions using virtualenv env-name along with source env-name/bin/activate.
  • 🔃 Keep packages updated: Latest package updates are important to ensure that you have access to the latest features and bug fixes and to prevent security vulnerabilities. You can update packages in Linux using package managers like apt. Simply open the command prompt and run sudo apt upgrade python3 to update the Python package.
  • 🤖 Setup Automate updates: Automating the update process can save time and ensure that packages are kept up-to-date on a regular basis. To do so, execute crontab -e. Then, add 0 4 * * * /usr/bin/apt-get update && /usr/bin/apt-get -y upgrade at the end of the file to run updates every day at 4 am. Alternatively, you can automate updates using systemd by creating a new file at the path /etc/systemd/system/apt-daily-upgrade.service and copying systemctl enable apt-daily-upgrade.service to the file. This will set up automatic daily updates and cleanup of the system.

Checking Python Package Versions [4 Common Errors]

Checking Python package versions in Linux is an important task for ensuring the performance and stability of your applications. However, even with just a simple checking process, errors can still occur. Here are four common errors you may encounter and how to troubleshoot them:

  • 🚫 PackageNotFoundError: It occurs when you try to install a package that doesn’t exist. Double-check the package name and that the package is available in your package manager. You can use the apt command with the search option in Linux. For example, to search for the python3-pip package, use the sudo apt search python3-pip command. If the package is available in your package manager, it will be displayed in the output.
  • ImportError: No module named <package-name>: This error occurs when you try to import a package that is not installed or not in your Python path. To install the package, run the pip install numpy command, which is the default package manager for Python. Once the package is installed, you can check if it’s in your Python path with pip show numpy.
  • AttributeError: module ‘<package-name>’ has no attribute ‘version’: This error occurs when you try to access the version of a package that doesn’t have a version attribute. Note that not all packages have this attribute, so check the documentation for the package to see how to access its version number.
  • 🔄 ImportError: cannot import name ‘parse_requirements’: This error occurs when you are using an older version of the pip package and trying to use the parse_requirements function, which has been removed from the newer versions of pip. To fix this error, you need to update your pip package to the latest version. You can update pip using the appropriate package manager based on your Linux distribution. For example, on Ubuntu, you can use the sudo apt-get install python3-pip command in the Terminal to update the pip package.


In this article, you’ve learned the five best ways to check the version of a Python package in Linux. This includes using the pip and pip freeze commands, Python scripts using the text editor, the Python interpreter within the Terminal app, and specific Linux distribution package managers. I have also provided the four best practices and troubleshooting some common errors when checking the Python package version.

If you’re interested in learning more about managing Python packages in Linux, here are some articles to check out installing Python on Linux, fixing the value error for string-to-float conversion, and use of the if statement to check substring. By exploring these topics and practicing your Python programming skills, you can become more proficient at developing software and scripts in a Linux environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I check the version of a package if it’s not installed on my system?

To check the version of a package, if it’s not installed on your system, use the apt-cache search command. In the Terminal app, type apt-cache search package-name and replace the package-name with the name of the package. For example, apt-cache search requests will display a list of packages that match the search term requests and their versions.

What are Python packages, and how do they work?

Python packages are pre-built modules of code that provide additional functionality to Python programs. They can include modules, libraries, and frameworks and can be installed using package managers like pip, apt, or dnf based on the Linux distro. Python packages can be either standard library packages, third-party packages, or local packages created by a user or a team.

Can different versions of Python packages be installed simultaneously?

Yes, different versions of Python packages can be installed simultaneously using virtual environments. Virtual environments allow you to create an isolated environment with its own Python executable and package dependencies. This allows you to have multiple versions of the same package installed without causing compatibility issues.

How are Python package versions numbered, and what do the numbers represent?

Python package versions are numbered according to a specific system consisting of three parts separated by dots: major version, minor version, and patch version. The major version indicates a significant change to the package that is not backward compatible with previous versions, while the minor version signifies a smaller change that is backward compatible. The patch version denotes a bug fix or minor improvement to the package.