How to Find Debian version

Endrit Qerreti

Endrit Qerreti

Is your machine running Debian but you don't know which version exactly you are running?

In this tutorial, you will learn how to find the version and other details that you may need to know about the system that you are using, you need this type of information for example when you are going to install a software on your machine, and you don't know if that software will be supported on that version of the OS that your machine is running on.

There are multiple ways to find out which version of Debian you are using, in this tutorial, we'll go through different methods of finding Debian version, by using terminal and GUI on desktop environments such as :XFCE, GNOME, KDE and Cinnamon.

Find Debian version by using the Terminal

To find out the version of Debian that you are using, we can read the content of the os release file. This file contains all the information about the OS, in this case Debian. To view the content of this file we need to cat the os-release file which is located at /etc/os-release

cat /etc/os-release

Once you run the command above, you will see a similar output on your terminal.

owlhowto@debian:~$ cat /etc/os-release
PRETTY_NAME="Debian GNU/Linux 12 (bookworm)"
NAME="Debian GNU/Linux"
VERSION_ID="12"
VERSION="12 (bookworm)"
VERSION_CODENAME=bookworm
ID=debian
HOME_URL="https://www.debian.org/"
SUPPORT_URL="https://www.debian.org/support"
BUG_REPORT_URL="https://bugs.debian.org/"

For example, we are running Debian 12, and as you can see the output contains all the information about our system.

Another way of checking the version of Debian is by executing the lsb_release command

Launch terminal, and run the command below

lsb_release -a

Once you execute the command above, you will get a similar output on your terminal, where you can see Distributor Id, Description, Release and Codename.

owlhowto@debian:~$ lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID:	Debian
Description:	Debian GNU/Linux 12 (bookworm)
Release:	12
Codename:	bookworm

So far we've covered two different methods of checking the version of Debian. However, these are not the only way to do this.

In addition to the methods above, we can also use hostnamectl command. This command shows more detailed information about your system comparing to os-release and lsb_release command.

To check Debian version by using hostnamectl command, launch your terminal and run

hostnamectl

Find Debian version by using GUI

You can also check the version of Debian by using GUI only. Depending the desktop environment that you are using, on XFCE for example, you can check which version by going to Applications Menu

Then click to About XFCE

And you should be able to view information about your Debian system

As you can see the xfce4-about window contains a lot of detailed information related to the hardware and the Operating system that your machine is using.

Gnome

To check Debian version on Gnome is also easy to do, just like on other desktop environments.

First you need to go to Activities

Once you see the activities window loaded, click on the Search box, and type "Settings" and click on the settings icon that showed up as shown in the image below

Once you are in settings section, you need to go to "About" section, simply scroll down to the bottom and click to "About"

Now you should be able to see details about your Debian system

Cinnamon

On cinnamon you can check Debian version by going into Applications Menu and launching "System Info". To launch System Info is easy, all you have to do is type "System Info" on the search box, and run it.

And the system info window should show up

KDE Plasma

If you are using KDE Plasma as your desktop environment on Debian, to find out what version of Debian you are using you can do so by Launching Applications menu

Next, type "System Settings" on the search box, and launch System settings by clicking on it

Now you need to go to the "About this system" section, "About this system" is located at the end of the quick settings page. Scroll down, until you see the "About this system" section. You can also type "About this system" on the search box, to quickly access it.

And you should see the version of Debian that your machine is using.

Conclusion

In this tutorial, you learned how to check which version of Debian your computer is using. We also covered different methods of checking Debian version, by using terminal and by using GUI on different desktop environments.