How to Check Your Debian Version

How to Check Your Debian Version

Linux distributions like Debian come in various versions, each offering a unique set of features, functionalities, and improvements. The specific version can significantly affect software compatibility and system performance, so it’s crucial to know which one is installed on your server. Here’s a straightforward guide on how to check the Debian version.

Fun fact: Debian releases are named after characters from the “Toy Story” films, such as Buzz, Rex, and Jessie.

There are several ways to identify the Debian version on a server: using the  “/etc/os-release” file and the “lsb_release” command.

Method #1: Checking the contents of the “/etc/os-release” file

In modern Debian systems, the “/etc/os-release” file contains OS identification data, including the Debian version. You can view this file’s contents using the “cat” command in the terminal:

cat /etc/os-release

The output will be similar to this: 

PRETTY_NAME="Debian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)"
NAME="Debian GNU/Linux"
VERSION="10 (buster)"

From this output, you can identify the version name (“buster”) and version ID (“10”).

Method 2: Using the “lsb_release” command

The “lsb_release” command provides certain LSB (Linux Standard Base) and distribution-specific information. To check your Debian version, use the “-a” option with this command:

lsb_release -a

The output will be similar to this: 

No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Debian
Description:    Debian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)
Release:        10
Codename:       buster

The line labeled “Description” contains the information you’re interested in. You can run the Debian OS on our Cloud Instances. It allows deploying and scaling projects in just a few clicks.


Want to run Debian on a virtual machine? With Gcore Cloud, you can choose from Basic VM, Virtual Instances, VPS/VDS, or Bare Metal servers suitable for Debian:

  • Gcore Basic VM offers shared virtual machines from €3.2 per month
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