How to find out Linux Kernel version running on your PC

Linux Kernel is constantly updated with new features, bug fixes, performance improvements, and security loop hole fixes. Since Linux distributions can’t catch up immediately with the independent Linux Kernel updates, a Linux distribution typically won’t bundle with latest Linux Kernel. If you are new to Linux Kernel, I suggest you to read our article on what is Linux Kernel and know the reasons why you need to upgrade to the latest.

On Ubuntu, Linux Mint, elementary OS and derivatives

Before you attempt to upgrade your Linux Kernel, it’s imperative to know what version of Linux Kernel is running on your Linux PC. This article explains how to find it out.

Active Linux Kernel Version:

In order to find out the Linux Kernel version running on your PC, launch ‘Terminal’ and run the following command:

uname -r

You should see the current active Linux Kernel version displayed. For example this is the version 4.4.0-57-generic on my Ubuntu 16.0 LTS PC.

Ubuntu Terminal displaying Linux Kernel Version
Ubuntu Terminal displaying Linux Kernel Version

Complete list of Linux Kernels installed:

To see the complete list Linux Kernels installed on your PC, use this command:

sudo dpkg -l | grep linux-headers | grep ii

Here is sample from my Linux Mint PC.

Linux Headers
Linux Headers

On RPM based Linux Distros like Fedora, Mandriva and derivatives

Active Linux Kernel Version:

You can use the following command in the ‘Terminal’.

cat /proc/version

Fedora Terminal
Fedora Terminal showing running Linux Kernel

Complete list of Linux Kernels installed:

To see the complete list Linux Kernels installed on your PC, use this command:

rpm -q kernel

Fedora - List of all kernels installed
Fedora – List of all kernels installed

All the Linux Kernels will be displayed in GRUB. You can select which version you want to boot into.

Fedora Boot Loader showing Linux Kernel Versions
Fedora Boot Loader showing Linux Kernel Versions

That’s it!

Kiran Kumar
Hi there! I'm Kiran Kumar, founder of FOSSLinux.com. I'm an avid Linux lover and enjoy hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I'm using Ubuntu as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Manjaro, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities, especially during Winter ;). When I'm not writing for FOSSLinux, I'm seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. I hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more and spread Linux love!. If you find a time, drop me an email or feedback from the 'Contact' page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!

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