How To Check What Linux I Have

How To Articles

Hey there, fellow tech enthusiasts! Today, I want to share with you a handy guide on how to check what Linux distribution you have on your system. As a passionate Linux user myself, I understand the importance of knowing your system inside out. So, let’s dive into the details and unravel the mystery of determining your Linux distribution.

First things first, open up your terminal. For those who are new to Linux, the terminal is a command-line interface where you can interact with your system directly. Don’t worry, it’s not as intimidating as it sounds!

Using the ‘lsb_release’ Command

One of the simplest and most widely supported methods to check your Linux distribution is by using the lsb_release command. This command, which stands for “Linux Standard Base Release,” provides information about the distribution and its version.

Just open your terminal and type the following command:

lsb_release -a

This will display a detailed output containing information such as the distributor ID, description, release number, and codename. It’s a quick and easy way to find out which Linux distro you’re rocking.

Examining the ‘/etc/os-release’ File

If for some reason the lsb_release command isn’t available on your system, don’t worry. There’s another way to retrieve the information using the /etc/os-release file.

To view the content of this file, simply run the following command:

cat /etc/os-release

The output will provide various details, including the distribution name, version, and ID. It’s like peering into the soul of your Linux system!

Inspecting ‘issue’ and ‘’ Files

For those of you who prefer a more traditional approach, Linux distributions often include two files called issue and These files can be found in the /etc directory.

To view the content of the issue file, use the following command:

cat /etc/issue

Similarly, to check the file, enter:

cat /etc/

These files usually contain a welcome message or other useful information displayed when you log in via a terminal or remote connection. They may not explicitly mention the distribution name, but they can still provide valuable clues.

Using ‘uname’ Command

If you’re looking for a more concise and technical approach, you can use the uname command to retrieve the kernel information, which indirectly provides insight into your Linux distribution.

To see the kernel information, simply type the following command:

uname -a

The output will include the kernel version, architecture, and other details. While it doesn’t directly tell you the distribution name, you can often infer it based on the kernel version or other identifiers.


There you have it! Four different methods to check what Linux distribution you have. Whether you prefer a simple and friendly approach or a more technical one, these methods will help you uncover the inner workings of your beloved Linux system.

Remember, exploring your system and getting to know its quirks can be a rewarding experience. So, have fun tinkering with your Linux distribution and embrace the vast world of open-source software!