How to Check the Kernel Version in Linux

How To Check The Kernel Version In Linux

In this tutorial, we’ll show you several different ways to find out what version of Linux kernel is running on your system.

The kernel is the core component of an operating system. It manages the system’s resources, and it is a bridge between your computer’s hardware and software.

There are various reasons why you might need to know the version of the kernel that is running on your GNU/Linux operating system. Perhaps you’re debugging a hardware related issue or learned about a new security vulnerability affecting older kernel versions and you want to find out whether your kernel is vulnerable or not. Whatever the reason, it’s quite easy to determine the Linux kernel version from the command line.


Using the uname Command

The uname command displays several system information including, the Linux kernel architecture, name version, and release.

To find out what version of the Linux kernel is running on your system, type the following command:

uname -srm
3.10.0-1160.81.1.el7.x86_64 x86_64


Using hostnamectl command

The hostnamectl utility is part of systemd, and it is used to query and change the system hostname. It also displays the Linux distribution and kernel version:

 Static hostname: test-liviu
         Icon name: computer-vm
           Chassis: vm
        Machine ID: 114054dc5a87478f99adbbed6027eea0
           Boot ID: 93edf5b522e04224894f7e46aa16b926
    Virtualization: kvm
  Operating System: CentOS Linux 7 (Core)
       CPE OS Name: cpe:/o:centos:centos:7
            Kernel: Linux 3.10.0-1160.81.1.el7.x86_64
      Architecture: x86-64

You can use the grep command to filter out the Linux kernel version:

hostnamectl | grep -i kernel
             Kernel: Linux 3.10.0-1160.81.1.el7.x86_64


Using /proc/version File

The /proc directory contains virtual files with information about the system memory , CPU cores , mounted filesystems , and more. Information about the running kernel is stored in the /proc/version virtual file.

Use cat or less to display the contents of the file:

cat /proc/version

The output will look something like this:

Linux version 3.10.0-1160.81.1.el7.x86_64 ( (gcc version 4.8.5 20150623 (Red Hat 4.8.5-44) (GCC) ) #1 SMP Fri Dec 16 17:29:43 UTC 2022



We have shown you how to find the version of the Linux kernel running on your system from the command line. The commands should work on all popular Linux distributions including, Debian, Red Hat, Ubuntu, Arch Linux, Fedora, CentOS, Kali Linux, OpenSUSE, Linux Mint, and more.