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How to find Linux distribution name and version?

uname

unameSometimes we need to find out Linux distribution name and version of current installed Linux OS. Here is a tutorial addressing this problem.

There are three methods to find out Linux distribution and version:
1. /etc/*-release
2. lsb_release
3. /proc/version

Method 1: /etc/*-release

Issue following command to find out distro and version of installed Linux-

$ cat /etc/*-release

Sample output:

DISTRIB_ID=LinuxMint
DISTRIB_RELEASE=16
DISTRIB_CODENAME=petra
DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="Linux Mint 16 Petra"
NAME="Ubuntu"
VERSION="13.10, Saucy Salamander"
ID=ubuntu
ID_LIKE=debian
PRETTY_NAME="Ubuntu 13.10"
VERSION_ID="13.10"
HOME_URL="http://www.ubuntu.com/"
SUPPORT_URL="http://help.ubuntu.com/"
BUG_REPORT_URL="http://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/"

Method 2: lsb_release

lsb in lsb_release stands for Linux Standard Base

$ lsb_release -a

Sample output:

No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: LinuxMint
Description: Linux Mint 16 Petra
Release: 16
Codename: petra

Method 3: /proc/version

This command returns kernel version and gcc version which was used to build it.

$ cat /proc/version

Sample output:

Linux version 3.11.0-12-generic (buildd@allspice) (gcc version 4.8.1 (Ubuntu/Linaro 4.8.1-10ubuntu7) ) #19-Ubuntu SMP Wed Oct 9 16:20:46 UTC 2013

Another way to find kernel version:

This command returns kernel version of currently installed Linux OS.

$ uname -r

or

$ uname -mrs

Sample output:

Linux 3.11.0-12-generic x86_64

Thank you.