Every Linux system – including all Raspberry Pi models with Raspberry Pi OS installed – is running a Linux kernel, which serves as the foundation for a fully packaged operating system. As technology evolves, the Linux kernel receives updates to accommodate new hardware, features, and security patches. These updates grant the Raspberry Pi new abilities, or patch out problems that get reported and fixed with newer kernel versions.
Keeping your Linux kernel up to date is an important task for administrators and users alike. Do you know what kernel version your Raspberry Pi is running? In this tutorial, we will show you how to check the kernel version on your Raspberry Pi by using various command line utilities. Let’s see how it’s done.
In this tutorial you will learn:
- How to check Raspberry Pi kernel version with
|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 kernel version on Raspberry Pi with uname
We can use the
unameLinux command to see our Raspberry Pi’s kernel version. Open a terminal and execute the following command to see yours.
$ uname -srm Linux 6.1.21-v8+ aarch64
The output shows us that our Raspberry Pi is running kernel version
Here’s what each of these numbers mean:
6– Kernel version
1– Major revision
21– Minor revision
v8+– Patch number
aarch64– Indicates the CPU architecture that the kernel is compiled for
How to check kernel version via hostnamectl command
Since Raspberry Pi OS relies on systemd, we can utilize the
hostnamectl command to see kernel information.
$ hostnamectl Static hostname: raspberrypi Icon name: computer Machine ID: 6a7ee0877cd441649c7bd7a6b3e3a538 Boot ID: f73aed7527574518ad9a9b38f5dc37bc Operating System: Debian GNU/Linux 11 (bullseye) Kernel: Linux 6.1.21-v8+ Architecture: arm64
Or, for a more concise output:
$ hostnamectl | grep Kernel Kernel: Linux 6.1.21-v8+
How to check kernel version via /proc/version file
You may also view the
/proc/version file, which contains kernel information.
$ cat /proc/version Linux version 6.1.21-v8+ (dom@buildbot) (aarch64-linux-gnu-gcc-8 (Ubuntu/Linaro 8.4.0-3ubuntu1) 8.4.0, GNU ld (GNU Binutils for Ubuntu) 2.34) #1642 SMP PREEMPT Mon Apr 3 17:24:16 BST 2023
In this tutorial, we saw several commands that can be used to reveal a Raspberry Pi system’s kernel version. Is it always a good idea to keep your Raspberry Pi system completely up to date, which includes updating to the latest available kernel whenever one becomes available. For help with updating, see our other tutorial on Easy Steps to Update Your Raspberry Pi.