We may need to know what version of the Debian operating system we have installed on our computer. It may be useful in a variety of situations, such as when we need to download a software build for a certain version of our current operating system, or when we need to obtain online support or engage with development environments. Whatever the cause, it’s always a good idea to double-check the OS version you’re using.

In this post, we’ll show you how to figure out what version of Debian your computer is running. There are primarily two methods for accomplishing this. One is through a graphical user interface, while the other is through a command-line terminal. In this post, we’ll go through both options.

Check Debian Version from Graphical User Interface

To check your Debian version from the Graphical User Interface, follow the below steps:

Step1: Launch the Settings utility in your Debian OS. To do so, hit the super key on your keyboard. In the search bar that appears, type the keyword settings. When the Settings icon appears, click on it to launch.

Settings

Step 2: When the Settings window appears, Go to the Details tab.

Details

You will see the following view displaying the version of OS along with other system information like Memory, Processor, Graphics, OS type, etc. In our case, we are running the Debian version 10.

Debian version

Check Debian Version from Terminal

The quick and best way to find the version of OS is through the Terminal utility. To open the Terminal in your Debian OS, go to the Activities tab in the top left corner of your desktop. Then in the search bar, type terminal. When the Terminal icon appears, click on it to launch.

There are different ways to check the version of a Debian OS using the Terminal. We will explain them one by one.

Using the lsb_release command

The lsb_release command can be used to find the version of a Linux OS. It might not be already installed in your OS, so you will need to first install it. Run the following command in the Terminal to install lsb_release:

$ apt-get install lsb-release

Once installed, run the following command in Terminal to find the version of your OS:

$ lsb_release -a

You will see the output similar to below:

lsb release

The above output displays the current version of a Debian OS. In our case, it is Debian 10.

Using /etc/issue file

Another way to determine the version of Debian running on your system is by viewing the issue file located at /etc directory on the system. You can use the cat command to view the content of the file. Enter the following command in your Terminal to do so:

$ cat /etc/issue

You will see the output similar to below displaying the current version of your OS.

/etc/issue file

Using /etc/os-release file

The /etc / os-release is a file containing the identification data of the operating system and it can only be found on the latest Debian distributions running systemd. It can be used to find out the version of your OS. To view the /etc/os-release, run the following command in Terminal:

cat /etc/os-release

You will see the output similar to below displaying the current version of your OS.

/etc/os-release

Using hostnamectl command

The hostnamectl command is used to configure or modify the hostname of a system. You can also use this command for determining the version of your Debian OS.

Simply type the following command in Terminal:

$ hostnamectl

You will see the output similar to below displaying the current version of your OS along with other system information such as hostname, machine ID, kernel ID, and architecture.

hostnamectl

Using cat /etc/debian_version

The methods we have discussed above only show the current version of the OS you are running. However, if you want to know the current update point releases, you can use the /etc/debian_version file. To do so, run the following command in Terminal:

$ cat /etc/Debian_version

You will receive the output similar to below displaying accurate information about the version of OS.

debian_version file

That is all there is to it! It’s very easy and straightforward to find the version of a Debian-based OS. We have discussed several ways including both GUI and command line using which you can determine the version of your OS.

6 Ways to get Debian version information

Karim Buzdar

About the Author: Karim Buzdar holds a degree in telecommunication engineering and holds several sysadmin certifications. As an IT engineer and technical author, he writes for various web sites. You can reach Karim on LinkedIn