HowTo: Find Which Kernel Version Is Installed On My Linux System

Posted on in Categories , , last updated December 29, 2013

I am a new proud Linux user. My question to you is – how do I find which kernel version installed on my Linux system? How do I upgrade my kernel to latest version? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

The Linux kernel is the central (core) component of Linux operating systems. Its responsibilities include managing the system’s resources and the communication between hardware and software components.

How to check kernel version on Linux server/desktop/laptop?

You need to use then uname command to print certain system information including kernel name. Type the following command to print kernel version number:
$ uname -r
Sample outputs:

2.6.20-15-generic

Another option is to type the following cat command:
$ cat /proc/version
Sample outputs:

Linux version 2.6.32-431.1.2.el6.x86_64 ([email protected]) (gcc version 4.4.7 20120313 (Red Hat 4.4.7-4) (GCC) ) #1 SMP Sun Nov 24 09:37:37 EST 2013

Understanding uname command options

To print certain system information you use uname command. It has the following options:

  -a, --all                print all information
  -s, --kernel-name        print the kernel name
  -n, --nodename           print the network node hostname
  -r, --kernel-release     print the kernel release
  -v, --kernel-version     print the kernel version
  -m, --machine            print the machine hardware name
  -p, --processor          print the processor type or "unknown"
  -i, --hardware-platform  print the hardware platform or "unknown"
  -o, --operating-system   print the operating system

Related media

This tutorial is also available in a quick video format:



Video 01: Find The Linux Kernel Version Command Tutorial

See How DO I Upgrade Linux kernel?

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. He has worked with global clients and in various industries, including IT, education, defense and space research, and the nonprofit sector. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+.

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