I would hope that any Linux user would know which distribution they were using (Mint, Ubuntu, etc) but if you aren’t too sure, or you want to find more specific information such as version numbers, then there are a few ways of finding out.

Linux Distribution and Version Number

A quick and easy way of finding the most basic of information, just the distribution and version number, is to open up the Terminal and type the following:

cat /etc/issue

This will, as mentioned, only show you the distribution and version number of that Linux distribution that you are using. Most people will find that this gives them all the information that they need, but if you do need to find more detailed or more specific information, then read on.

Linux Release Information

To get release information about your Linux distribution you can head over to the Terminal and type in:

cat /etc/*release

This will give you the distribution and version number, just like the previous step, but it will also provide you with other information such as the URL for the distribution, a URL for help with the distribution and information on which Linux distribution your distro is based onĀ (e.g. Debian).

Find The Linux Kernel Version

To find the Linux kernel version just enter the following command into the terminal:

uname -r

How To Tell If You Are Using A 64-bit Kernel

To find out whether you are using a 32-bit or 64-bit kernel you can use the following command in a Terminal window:

uname -a

If the result returned displays either i386 or i686 then you are using a 32-bit version of the kernel. If instead it shows x86_64 then you are using the 64-bit kernel.

Image Credit: Sven