Being aware of your current Debian version will help you know when it is time to update. It’s important to know the version of your Debian Linux system, as new versions are released about every 2 years. Staying up to date will keep your system secure and ensure that you have the newest software available.
In this tutorial, you will see several methods that can be used to check the version of Debian. Keep in mind that Debian versions include a number and a code name. The code names come from the Toy Story movie series. An example would be Debian 11 Bullseye. The code names are just a fun nickname given to each release, with the version number actually being the best indicator of how old your Debian version is.
In this tutorial you will learn:
- Several methods for checking Debian version from command line and GUI
|Category||Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used|
|Other||Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the
# – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user
How to check Debian version
See some of the methods below to check your Debian version. All accomplish the same task, and none require root permissions, so use whichever you find most convenient.
- One of the simplest ways to see your Debian version is with the
hostnamectlcommand. This is provided by systemd, which is standard across all editions of Debian. Depending on your release, either the version or the release code name is revealed in the output.
- Another way to see this same information is by viewing the
$ cat /etc/issue
- Another file you can check is the
/etc/os-releasefile. This one contains both the version number and release code name.
$ cat /etc/os-release
- Another way to see the version number is to execute the
lsb_releasecommand along with the
$ lsb_release -crid
- Lastly, there’s always a way to view the Debian version via GUI, in case you don’t like to use the command line. This is going to differ a little, depending on the desktop environment you’re using. In the GNOME desktop environment on Debian, the information is located under Settings > About.
As seen in this tutorial, Debian gives us many ways to check the version of the operating system, either from command line or GUI. Knowing which version of Debian you’re on will help you determine when it’s time to update. It’s always a good idea to keep your Debian system up to date, especially for the latest security patches and system features.