Here are the four easy ways to check the Linux OS version:
- Use the
lsb_releasecommand to check the Linux OS version.
- Use the
unamecommand to obtain system-level details, including the kernel version.
- Access the
/etc/os-releasefile to retrieve information about your operating system.
- Utilize the GUI method that your desktop environment provides to find the Linux OS version.
Moreover, you can use Neofetch, Screenfetch, or Inxi to check your Linux OS version. If you have an outdated version, upgrade it via the command line or GUI-based. Also, follow the best practices, such as backup data, reading release notes, checking hardware compatibility, being patient, and monitoring the upgrade process to upgrade to the latest version of Linux OS successfully.
Learn more about how to check the Linux OS version on your system using CLI and GUI methods. Also, discover the top three tools, the easy Linux OS upgrading process, and its five best practices to follow.
Linux is an open-source operating system that powers various devices, from servers and desktop computers to smartphones and embedded systems. Knowing the Linux OS version is important for troubleshooting, ensuring compatibility with software and hardware, and staying up to date with the latest features and security enhancements. In this article, I will explain the four easy ways to check the Linux OS version, along with the three third-party tools. Furthermore, I will discuss the importance of keeping your Linux OS up to date and provide instructions on upgrading your Linux OS.
How to Check the Linux OS Version [4 Easy Ways]
To check the Linux OS version, you can use commands like
uname, or access the
/etc/os-release file. Additionally, GUI methods provided by your desktop environment can display the version. Here’s how you can use these methods on your Linux system:
1. Use lsb_release Command
lsb_release command is a standard tool for checking Linux distributions. It provides detailed information about your Linux OS. To know the Linux OS version with this command, follow these steps:
- Launch the Terminal or command-line interface on your Linux system.
- Type the command below and press Enter.
- The output will display information about your Linux distribution, including the release number and codename.
2. Use uname Command
uname command provides information about the operating system, including the kernel version and system architecture. To see the Linux OS version details using this command, follow these steps:
- In the command prompt, execute the following command:
- The output will show details such as the kernel version, system architecture, and other relevant information.
3. Access /etc/os-release File
/etc/os-release file contains information about the operating system, including the distribution name, version, and ID. To check the Linux OS version by accessing this file, follow these steps:
- Type the command below in the Terminal window and press Enter.
- The output will provide details about your Linux OS, including the distribution name, version, and ID.
4. Use GUI Method
In addition to the command-line methods, you can check the Linux OS version using graphical user interface (GUI) methods provided by your desktop environment.
- Navigate to the Application menu.
- Look for an icon like Settings and click on it.
- Scroll down the listed items in the left pane, and click About.
- Now, the right pane should display your Linux OS version, distribution name, and other relevant details.
Top 3 Third-Party Tools to Check the Linux OS Version
Apart from these built-in methods, there are third-party tools available that provide more detailed system information about the Linux OS version. Here are three of the most commonly used tools among Linux users:
Neofetch is a popular third-party tool that displays detailed system information in a visually appealing way. It shows various system details, including the Linux distribution, kernel version, CPU, GPU, and memory. To install and use Neofetch:
- First, update the package repository by running the command:
sudo apt update
- Install Neofetch using the package manager with the command:
sudo apt install neofetch
- Enter y if prompted to continue with the installation.
- Wait for a few minutes for the installation to complete.
- Once the installation is complete, you can run Neofetch to display system information by simply typing:
- You’ll see the details of the Linux OS version in the Terminal window once you execute the command:
Screenfetch is another third-party tool that fetches system information and displays it in the terminal. It provides a simple and compact overview of your Linux OS. To install and use Screenfetch:
- Head to the Linux command-line interface and update the package repository by running the command:
sudo apt update
- Install Screenfetch using the package manager with the command:
sudo apt install screenfetch
- Type y and press Enter to carry on with the installation process.
- Once the installation is complete, you can run Screenfetch to view system information by typing:
- You’ll now see the following details of the Linux OS version installed on your system.
Inxi is a versatile and comprehensive command-line tool that provides extensive system information, including hardware details, software versions, and more. It is particularly useful for diagnosing and troubleshooting Linux systems. To install and use Inxi:
- Launch the Terminal app and update the package repository by running the command:
sudo apt update
- Install Inxi using the package manager with the command:
sudo apt install inxi
- To continue the installation process, simply enter y and press Enter.
- Once the installation is complete, you can generate detailed system information by running the command:
- The system will now display detailed information about the installed Linux OS version.
How to Upgrade the Linux OS in 2 Easy Ways
If you have an outdated version of Linux installed on your system, you should upgrade to the latest version to take advantage of new features and experience enhanced security improvements. Here’s how you can use them to upgrade your Linux OS:
1. Command line Upgrade Process
You can upgrade your Linux operating system effectively using the command line. This approach provides a direct and precise method to manage software updates, allowing for more advanced options and deeper control over the upgrade process. Here are the steps to upgrade your Linux OS using the command line:
- Launch the Terminal and update the package repository by running the command:
sudo apt update
- Next, upgrade the installed packages to their latest versions using the command:
sudo apt upgrade
- Continue with the installation by typing y and pressing Enter.
- Wait for the upgrade process to complete.
- After the upgrade of packages, you may need to update your package manager’s distribution upgrade tool. Use the command:
sudo apt dist-upgrade
- Once the distribution upgrade tool is updated, initiate the distribution upgrade process by running the command:
- After the upgrade is finished, it is recommended to reboot your system to apply the changes. You can do this by running the command:
2. GUI-based Upgrade process
The GUI provides a more visually intuitive way to manage software updates and ensures a smoother and more accessible upgrade process. Follow the steps below to upgrade your Linux OS using a graphical user interface (GUI):
- Head to the Application menu.
- Look for Software Updater.
- Launch the application and check for available updates.
- If a new version of your Linux distribution is available, you should see an option to upgrade. And you’ll have to follow the on-screen instructions to proceed with the upgrade. Once the upgrades are installed, reboot your system to ensure all changes take effect. However, you’ll see the following notification if your Linux OS version is already up-to-date.
5 Best Practices When Upgrading the Linux OS
When upgrading the Linux operating system (OS), it’s crucial to follow these five best practices to ensure a smooth and successful upgrade process::
- 📂 Backup your data: Before performing any major system upgrade, it’s essential to back up your important files and data to prevent data loss in case of any issues during the upgrade process. Use tar to create a backup:
tar czvf backup.tar.gz /path/to/your/data.
- 📜 Read release notes: Take the time to read the release notes or documentation for the new version of your Linux distribution. It provides valuable information about new features, known issues, and specific instructions for the upgrade process.
- 💻 Check hardware compatibility: Ensure that your hardware is compatible with the new version of the Linux distribution. Some hardware drivers or components may require additional steps or adjustments after the upgrade. Use the command
lspcito check the hardware information.
- ⏳ Be patient: Upgrading your Linux OS can be a time-consuming process, especially if it involves downloading a significant amount of data. Be patient and allow the system ample time to complete the upgrade.
- 👀 Monitor the upgrade process: Pay attention to any error messages or prompts during the upgrade process. Provide the necessary responses or take corrective actions as needed. Use the command
sudo apt-get upgradeto resolve package-related errors during the upgrade.
To Sum Up
In this guide, I have explained the four easy ways to check the Linux OS version. I have also introduced popular third-party tools like Neofetch, Screenfetch, and Inxi, which provide comprehensive system information. Moreover, I have discussed the importance of keeping your Linux OS up to date and provided a step-by-step guide to upgrade your system along with the five best practices. This includes backing up your data, reading the release notes, and checking hardware compatibility when upgrading your Linux OS.
To learn about Linux, you should explore other basic topics, such as creating desktop shortcuts for quick access to the apps, resolving held broken packages error to easily upgrade your system, and using Linux uninstaller to completely remove unnecessary apps and their files from your system. By understanding these Linux basics, you’ll be able to enjoy the optimal performance of your system.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I check my Linux OS version?
It’s a good practice to check your Linux OS version periodically or whenever you suspect there might be updates available. This ensures that you stay informed about the latest features, security patches, and compatibility improvements.
Can I check my Linux OS version remotely?
Yes, you can check your Linux OS version remotely using SSH (Secure Shell) or other remote access methods. Simply connect to your Linux system using an SSH client and execute the appropriate commands mentioned earlier in this guide.
How do I check the available disk space in Linux?
To check the available disk space in Linux, use the
df -h command in the Terminal. This will provide a summary of disk usage for all mounted file systems, including the available space. Monitoring disk space helps ensure efficient storage management on your Linux system.
Is it possible to downgrade my Linux OS?
Downgrading your Linux OS is generally not recommended or supported. The upgrade process is designed to move forward, ensuring system stability, security, and compatibility with newer software and hardware. Reverting to an older version can introduce compatibility issues and security vulnerabilities. It is advisable to perform a fresh installation of the desired older version if needed, but proper backup and data migration is essential.
Why should I keep my Linux OS up-to-date?
You should keep your Linux OS up to date due to following three main reasons:
– Enhanced security: Updates fortify against vulnerabilities, safeguarding data, privacy, and stability.
– Boosted performance: Optimizations, such as improved drivers and resource management, enhance responsiveness and overall performance.
– New features and compatibility: Staying current grants access to the latest features, ensuring seamless compatibility with innovative software and technologies.