How to find Ubuntu Version number

Ubuntu release cycle is once in 6 months and Long Term Support (LTS) release is once in 2 years. Ubuntu follows version number in the format of YY.MM (i.e.: Year.Month). Here are two ways to find the your Ubuntu installation’s version number.

The Ubuntu version number is stored in two files in /etc path. Once is /etc/issue and another one is /etc/lsb-release. You can just print these files to get the version number. I have shown here my Ubuntu 10.04 version.

Method 1:

$ cat /etc/issue

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS \n \l

Method 2:

$ cat /etc/lsb-release





Update: Many readers have pointed out other alternative ways to get the version number. I have added these for completeness.

Method 3:

$ lsb_release -d
Description: Ubuntu 10.04 LTS

GUI way of doing it

Method 4: (it loads very slow)

Ubuntu main menu -> System -> About Ubuntu

Method 5:

Ubuntu main menu -> System -> Administration -> System Monitor
Apart from these you may need more information about your kernel. You can use uname command which is a well known one. For the sake of completeness I am showing how to use this command.
$ uname -a
Linux blackgod-laptop 2.6.32-22-generic #36-Ubuntu SMP Thu Jun 3 19:31:57 UTC 2010 x86_64 GNU/Linux

The above output shows,

Host name: blackgod-laptop

Kernel version: 2.6.32-22-generic

Multiprocessor enabled (SMP)

It is 64 bit installation (x86_64).

Hope these tips may be useful for you.

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  1. Thanks. A command for both informations here:

    We can also run …
    … and have a look just to the first 2 lines of the output:
    “Architecture” informs about the installed Linux version: “i686” represents one of 32 bits, while “x86_64” stands for a 64 bits one.
    “CPU op-mode(s)” informs about the CPU. “32-bit” represents one of 32 bits, while “32-bit, 64-bit” or “64-bit” stands for a 64 bits one.

  2. In the command …
    sudo lshw | grep “description: CPU” -A 12 | grep width
    … the quotation marks have to be vertical so it works.

    Probably they have been converted again in typographic ones. I hope they appear well now (I’m using the HTML code for them: ampersand number sign 34 semicolon):
    sudo lshw | grep "description: CPU" -A 12 | grep width

  3. Thanks.

    To know if the installed Ubuntu is of 32 or 64 bits:
    uname -m
    If it shows i686 or i386 it means 32 bits.
    If it shows x86_64 it means 64 bits.

    If the CPU is of 32 bits Ubuntu must be of 32 bits.
    If the CPU is of 64 bits it can work in 64 or 32 bits. So we can choose: Ubuntu can be of 32 bits or of 64 bits.

    To know if the CPU is of 32 or 64 bits:
    a) grep -w lm /proc/cpuinfo
    If we see lm in red is of 64 bits. Otherwise is of 32 bits.
    b) sudo lshw | grep “description: CPU” -A 12 | grep width
    It says clearly what we want to know.

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