check linux version

The Linux OS has many Distributions and various versions with slight modifications in the kernel versions, a major and minor version identification is crucial to practical administration of a linux server. Linux being open source, the release cycles are continuous resulting in many changes with Longterm release and short term release cycles in some most known and popular linux Distributors like Centos/Debian.. A special mentioning of the generic Desktop PC/laptop based versions of fedora/Ubuntu/Arch/OpenSuse Leap-Tumbleweed Linux where fan following is heavy, the Release cycles are very aggressive with new versions releasing once in for every 2-3 weeks.

In this Section we will see how to check linux version, on most popular Distributions.
This will be handy during the kernel patch process to identify the current linux version.
Lets list our some practical linux commands and scenarios

Checking the Linux OS Version using /etc/os-release

[vamshi@node02 ]$ cat /etc/os-release
NAME="CentOS Linux"
VERSION="7 (Core)"
ID_LIKE="rhel fedora"
PRETTY_NAME="CentOS Linux 7 (Core)"

Checking the Linux Version from the file /etc/issue

This file is being relinquished in latest Systemd variants of Linux, But tends to gives a less adequate information just lying around for aged linux user’s familiarity with systemd versions.

vamshi@node03:/$ cat /etc/issue
Debian GNU/Linux 10 \n \l

Check Linux Version using lsb_release:

The lsb_release prints the (Linux Standard Base) and Distribution information on the Linux host.

[vamshi@node02 cp-command]$ lsb_release -a
LSB Version:    :core-4.1-ia32:core-4.1-noarch
Distributor ID:    CentOS
Description:    CentOS Linux release 7.7.1908 (Core)
Release:    7.7.1908
Codename:    Core

How to check the running kernel version information ?

Check Linux Version information with uname command

[vamshi@node02 cp-command]$ uname -a
Linux 3.10.0-1062.9.1.el7.x86_64 #1 SMP Fri Dec 6 15:49:49 UTC 2019 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

Checking the Linux Version using hostnamectl

The command hostnamectl gives the complete information of the underlying architecture, kernel version and the Linux OS name

vamshi@node03:/$ hostnamectl 
Static hostname: node03
Icon name: computer-vm
Chassis: vm
Machine ID: b4adcdb84c724856b577524ebbfa0003
Boot ID: 1a2db0a0ae8b4c5ba86b390c68af7024
Virtualization: oracle
Operating System: Debian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)
Kernel: Linux 4.19.0-5-amd64
Architecture: x86-64

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