How to know the version of Linux (+ hardware information, PC specs)

kto-tyi-pingvinI welcome everyone!

Up to point: “Outside, of course, it’s good, but at home, it’s better…”.

When working on your PC, you usually know everything about it (both hardware and software (and any scratches on the case 😉)). But when you get acquainted with an “unknown machine”, sometimes you need to know more: characteristics, distribution version and Linux kernel.

In principle, it’s not difficult to do this: 1-2 teams (if you don’t take individual exceptional cases…).

In fact, below I will give some clues that “learn” about the current operating system (I note that the given commands are universal and work in different distributions).

To note: I assume you have your OS running and you can call the terminal (Ctrl+Alt+T Where Win+T). If one of the commands below doesn’t work for you, try the next one.


The content of the article

Several options for finding information about the current Linux operating system

👉 Option 1: About tab


In most Linux distributions (especially for beginners) you can find system information without any commands: just open system settings and go to the tab “On”. 👇

POP!_OS - screenshot of control panel, About tab

POP!_OS – screenshot of control panel, About tab

By the way, please note that through the tab “On” you can learn not only about the operating system, but also about the hardware of the PC: processor, RAM, video card, etc.

Elementary Operating System - About Tab

Elementary Operating System – About tab

Operating system information

Operating system information


👉 Variant 2

Order lsb_release -a will display the name of the distribution, its ID, the version number (release) and the code name. Generally works on most distros!


  1. Distributor ID: Pop
  2. Description: Pop!_OS 20.10
  3. Departure: 20.10
  4. Code name: groovy
lsb_release -a

lsb_release -a


👉 Variant 3

Order hostnamectl allows you to view basic information about the current version of the operating system (pay attention to the line “Operating system” 👇).

hostnamectl (elementary OS)

hostnamectl (elementary OS)



Example (in Linux Mint text):

mint@mint:~$ hostnamectl
Static hostname: mint
Icon Name: Laptop
Chassis: Laptop
Computer ID: 939972095cf1459c8b22cc608eff85da
Boot ID: cc35e48fabd4460fb94d7102965ce576
Operating System: Linux Mint 20.1
Kernel: Linux 5.4.0-58-generic
Architecture: x86-64


👉 Variant 4

This option, in addition to the operating system, will show you many pieces of iron on the PC. The most informative way!

Try in the terminal to enter the command inxi-F and press Enter.

If an error occurs, enter sudo apt install inxi and press Enter. When the package installation is complete, use the command again inxi-F.



Example (Linux Mint):

mint@mint:~$ inxi -F
Host: mint Kernel: 5.4.0-58-generic x86_64 bit: 64
Desktop: Cinnamon 4.8.5 Distro: Linux Mint 20.1 Ulyssa
Type: Laptop System: ASUSTeK Product: UX310UAK v: 1.0
series :
Mobo: ASUSTeK Model: UX310UAK v: 1.0 Serial:
UEFI: American Megatrends v: UX310UAK.306 date: 08/09/2017
ID-1: BAT0 Charge: 19.9Wh Status: 41.2/48.3Wh (85%)
Topology: Dual Core Model: Intel Core i5-7200U Bit: 64 Type: MT MCP
L2 cache: 3072 KiB
Speed: 500 MHz Min/Max: 400/3100 MHz Core Speeds (MHz): 1:500 2:500
3:500 4:501
Device-1: Intel HD Graphics 620 driver: i915 v: kernel
Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.20.8 driver: unloaded modesetting: fbdev,vesa
resolution: 1920×1080~60Hz
OpenGL: rendering engine: Mesa Intel HD Graphics 620 (KBL GT2) v: 4.6 Mesa 20.0.8
Device-1: Intel Sunrise Point-LP HD Audio Driver: snd_hda_intel
Sound server: ALSA v:k5.4.0-58-generic
Device-1: Intel Wireless 8260 Driver: iwlwifi
SI:wlp2s0 state:until mac:90:61:ae:46:f1:2c
Local Storage: Total: 581.02 GiB Used: 840.5 MiB (0.1%)
ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: Crucial model: CT480BX500SSD1 size: 447.13 GiB
ID-2: /dev/sdb model: 128 GB SSD size: 119.24 GiB
ID-3: /dev/sdc type: USB vendor: Innostor model: Innostor size: 14.65 GiB
ID-1: / size: 5.79 GiB used: 840.5 MiB (14.2%) fs: overlay source: ERR-102
System Temperatures: CPU: 36.0C Mobo: N/A
Fan Speeds (RPM): CPU: 3100
Process: 236 Availability: 13m Memory: 11.59 GiB Used: 1.22 GiB (10.5%)
Shell: bash inxi: 3.0.38


👉 Variant 5

One of the operating system files (/etc/os-release) contains distribution information. To see it, just use the command in the terminal cat /etc/os-release.

There is another file containing system information (/etc/issue) – it is used at the login prompt. To display information from it – use cat /etc/problem.

Kernel information is available in the file: /proc/version (command cat /proc/version).


cat /etc/problem

Example (Linux Mint):

mint@mint:~$ cat /etc/os-release
NAME=”Linux Mint”
VERSION=”20.1 (Ulysses)”
PRETTY_NAME=”Linux Mint 20.1″


👉 Variant 6

To know the Linux kernel version (and additional information about the architect), you can use the uname utility, some commands to help you:

uname -r




Example (Linux Mint):

mint@mint:~$ uname -r
mint@mint:~$ uname -a
Linux mint 5.4.0-58-generic #64-Ubuntu SMP Wed Dec 09 08:16:25 UTC 2020 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux


That’s all for now, good luck!


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