One of the most popular distributions used by Linux users is Debian. The initial version, created in 1993, is preferred by professionals since it is the most versatile and is built on open-source software.

When logging into Debian for the first time after a long absence or when searching for software that is only compatible with a particular version of Debian, we frequently forget the version of the operating system we are running.

Or it can occur if you use a small number of servers running different operating system versions and don't need to keep track of which Debian version is installed on which machine. There could be a lot more causes.

Debian has command-line and graphical user interface options for checking the operating system version. This post will demonstrate how to check the Debian version installed on your machine.

Checking Debian Version using Graphical User Interface

Follow the steps below to determine your Debian version using the graphical user interface:

  • Step 1: Start your Debian OS's Settings utility. To do this, press your keyboard's super key. Enter the keyword settings in the resulting search field. Click the Settings icon to start it when it displays.
  • Step 2: Select the Details tab when the Settings window appears.
  • You will see a window with the OS version and other system details, including the OS type, memory, processor, and graphics. 

Check the Debian Version from the Terminal

Using Terminal, often known as Command-Line, is one of the fastest and most effective techniques to determine the OS version you are running. You can use several instructions to see your most recent version.

One option is to open a dialogue box and enter "gnome-terminal" after pressing [Alt], the Function key, and [F2] simultaneously.

You can also go to the Activities tab in the top-left corner of your desktop on Debian OS to launch the Terminal. Then type "terminal" into the search box. Click the Terminal icon when it appears to start it.

Various ways exist to determine a Debian OS's version using the Terminal. We'll go over each one individually.

The lsb_release command

The Linux OS version can be determined using the lsb_release command. You must install it first because it might not already be in your OS. To install it, enter the following command into the Terminal: 

$ apt-get install lsb-release

Use the command below in the Terminal after installation to check the Debian version:

$ lsb_release –a

Make sure the LSB is installed before executing the lsb release command. You won't be able to print the necessary system information until after that. Make sure you have sudo access to execute the appropriate command.

The /etc/issue file

Viewing the issue file in the system's /etc directory is another approach to finding out what version of Debian is currently installed. 

To view the contents of the file, use the cat command. To achieve this, use the command below in your Terminal:

$ cat /etc/issue

Use the following program to determine what Debian update point releases are currently available. It also works with older Debian releases.

$ cat /etc/debian_version

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The /etc/os-release file

Only the most recent Debian distributions running systemd may be identified via the /etc/os-release file, which contains information on the operating system. 

You can use it to determine your OS version. Insert the following command in your Terminal to view the /etc/os-release:

cat /etc/os-release

The hostnamectl command

The hostname of a system can be configured or changed using the hostnamectl command. This command can also be used for checking Debian Version you are running.

In Terminal, merely type the following command:

$ hostnamectl

A popup displaying your OS's most recent version will also provide details about your system's hostname, kernel ID, machine ID, and architecture.

Don’t forget that only Debian 9 or subsequent versions support this command.

The cat /etc/debian_version

The approaches we've covered so far only display your OS version. However, you can utilize the /etc/debian_version file to discover the most recent update point releases. Use the command below in Terminal to accomplish this:

$ cat /etc/Debian_version

The uname command

Using the "uname" command in your terminal is another quick and easy approach to checking the Debian version. 

The "ver" command used on MS-Dos systems and this command are functionally equivalent. For the "uname" command, you can use the syntax listed below:

uname [parameter]

When you use the "uname" command without any parameters, you obtain the operating system's name; you don't get distribution or kernel-related information. However, the command will accept the "-s" option by default.


Knowing your current Debian version can help you determine when an upgrade is necessary. Your Debian Linux system has a version you should know because new versions are published every two years. 

Once you begin utilizing this system, knowing the version beforehand is a good idea. It is advantageous to investigate any problem or identify its underlying source. 

Additionally, it aids in package installation since you may search for a package compatible with the current Debian version. You will see a variety of techniques in this article for checking Debian Version. Remember that Debian versions have a version number and a codename.

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