As a Linux user, it’s essential to know which distribution (distro) you’re running. A distro is a version of the Linux operating system that includes a specific combination of software packages, configurations, and tools. Knowing which Linux distro you’re using can help you troubleshoot issues and determine which software is compatible with your system.
In this article, we’ll cover several methods for checking your Linux distro, including using the command line and graphical user interface (GUI) tools. We’ll also explain some related concepts, such as Linux package managers.
Method 1: Using the Command Line
One of the most common ways to check your Linux distro is by using the command line. Here’s how to do it:
- Open a terminal window. You can usually do this by pressing
Tor by searching for “Terminal” in your applications menu.
- Type the following command and press
This command will display detailed information about your Linux distro, including the release number, codename, and description.
Here’s an example of what the output might look like:
No LSB modules are available. Distributor ID: Ubuntu Description: Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS Release: 20.04 Codename: focal
In this example, we can see that the user is running Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS.
Method 2: Using GUI Tools
If you prefer a graphical interface, many Linux distros come with built-in tools for checking system information. Here are a few common examples:
GNOME is a popular desktop environment used by several Linux distros, including Ubuntu and Fedora. Here’s how to check your distro using GNOME Settings:
- Open the “Settings” application. You can usually find this in your applications menu or by searching for “Settings.”
- Click on “Details” or “About” (depending on your distro).
- Look for the “OS” or “Operating System” section. This should display your distro name and version.
KDE System Settings
KDE is another popular desktop environment used by several Linux distros, including Kubuntu and Manjaro. Here’s how to check your distro using KDE System Settings:
- Open the “System Settings” application. You can usually find this in your applications menu or by searching for “System Settings.”
- Click on “Details” or “About System” (depending on your distro).
- Look for the “Operating System” section. This should display your distro name and version.
Many other Linux distros come with their own built-in tools for checking system information. For example, the “System Information” application on Linux Mint displays detailed information about your distro, including the release number, kernel version, and desktop environment.
Related Concepts: Linux Package Managers
When you’re checking your Linux distro, you may come across terms like “package manager” or “package repository.” These are related concepts that are essential to understand as a Linux user.
A package manager is a tool that helps you install, update, and remove software packages on your system. Each Linux distro typically has its own package manager, such as
apt for Debian-based distros like Ubuntu and
pacman for Arch Linux. These package managers rely on package repositories, which are collections of software packages that are hosted online.
When you install software on your Linux system, your package manager will download the necessary packages from a package repository and install them on your system. This is why it’s essential to know which Linux distro you’re using, as different distros may use different package managers and repositories.
Checking your Linux distro is an essential task for any Linux user. By using the command line or GUI tools, you can quickly determine which distro you’re running and troubleshoot any issues that may arise. Additionally, understanding related concepts like Linux package managers can help you make informed decisions when installing and managing software on your system.