I am a new Linux system user and MS-Windows XP refugees. How do I check Linux kernel version using a shell prompt?
You can use the following files to find out the kernel version that is currently running:
- /proc/version – This file stores a string which identifies the kernel version. It includes the contents of /proc/sys/kernel/ostype, /proc/sys/kernel/osrelease and /proc/sys/kernel/version.
You can also use the following command for the same purpose:
- uname command – Display name and information about current kernel.
- Package manager such as rpm/yum or apt-get provides output information about the kernel.
How to find the kernel version using uname command
Open the Terminal application and type the following command to show you Linux system kernel version:
- 2.6.32 – Linux kernel version.
- 431.1.2 – Distro specific number for bug and security fixes.
Here is another output from my Ubuntu based server:
The following command gives a little more information about Linux kernel and machine type:
Linux 3.2.0-51-generic x86_64
A list uname command line options
-a, --all print all information, in the following order, except omit -p and -i if unknown: -s, --kernel-name print the kernel name -n, --nodename print the network node hostname -r, --kernel-release print the kernel release -v, --kernel-version print the kernel version -m, --machine print the machine hardware name -p, --processor print the processor type or "unknown" -i, --hardware-platform print the hardware platform or "unknown" -o, --operating-system print the operating system
How to check kernel version using /proc/version file
Use the cat command to look at /proc/version file:
## display my linux kernel version ## cat /proc/version
This tutorial is also available in a quick video format:
This page explained several ways to check kernel version in Linux terminal application. It is important that you keep your Linux kernel updated to avoid security problems.