How do I check OS and version using a Linux command?


In the realm of Linux, the ability to swiftly ascertain the operating system and its version is a fundamental skill for system administrators and users alike. This guide explores the art of querying this crucial information through a variety of powerful and straightforward Linux commands.

Command-Line Insights: Unveiling the OS and Version:
  1. lsb_release Command:
    • The lsb_release command stands as a dedicated tool for providing LSB (Linux Standard Base) and distribution-specific information.
    lsb_release -a
    • The -a flag displays all available information, including the distributor ID, description, release number, and codename.
  2. uname Command:
    • The versatile uname command offers a comprehensive range of system information, including the kernel name, network node hostname, kernel release, and kernel version.
    uname -a
  3. cat Command with /etc/os-release:
    • The /etc/os-release file contains detailed information about the operating system. Using cat to display its contents reveals key data.
    cat /etc/os-release
Example Scenarios:
  1. Using lsb_release:
    lsb_release -a
    • This command might output details like “Distributor ID,” “Description,” “Release,” and “Codename.”
  2. Using uname:
    uname -a
    • The output includes information such as the Linux kernel version and system architecture.
  3. Using cat with /etc/os-release:
    cat /etc/os-release
    • This reveals specific information about the operating system, like “PRETTY_NAME” and “VERSION_ID.”
Advantages of OS and Version Identification:
  1. System Compatibility:
    • Knowing the OS and version is crucial for ensuring software and applications are compatible with the Linux distribution.
  2. Issue Resolution:
    • System-specific issues can be better addressed when armed with accurate OS and version information.
Best Practices for System Information Retrieval:
  1. Combine Commands for Detail:
    • Utilize multiple commands to cross-verify information and gather a comprehensive view of the system.
  2. Automation for Efficiency:
    • Scripting these commands allows for efficient and automated retrieval of system information.

Being adept at extracting operating system and version details from the Linux command line is a foundational skill. Whether you are troubleshooting, ensuring compatibility, or simply satisfying your curiosity, these commands provide a window into the core attributes of your Linux environment.

Mastering the art of querying OS information not only enhances your command-line prowess but also lays the groundwork for effective system administration and user experience in the diverse world of Linux.