How to find Linux version and Kernel version?

To find out what version of Linux (distro) you are running, enter the following command at the shell prompt:
$ cat /etc/*-release
Sample output from my RHEL v5.x server:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5 (Tikanga)

Sample outputs from my Ubuntu Linux v7.10 server:

DISTRIB_ID=Ubuntu DISTRIB_RELEASE=7.10 DISTRIB_CODENAME=gutsy DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="Ubuntu 7.10" 

lsb_release Command

The lsb_release command displays certain LSB (Linux Standard Base) and distribution-specific information. Type the following command:
$ lsb_release -a
Sample outputs:

No LSB modules are available. Distributor ID:	Debian Description:	Debian GNU/Linux 6.0.1 (squeeze) Release:	6.0.1 Codename:	squeeze 

How Do I Find Out My Kernel Version?

Type the following command:
$ uname -a
OR
$ uname -mrs
Sample outputs:

Linux 2.6.32-5-amd64 x86_64

Where,

  1. Linux – Kernel name
  2. 2.6.32-5-amd64 – Kernel version number
  3. x86_64 – Machine hardware name (64 bit)

Say hello to /proc/version

Type the following command to see kernel version and gcc version used to build the same:
$ cat /proc/version
Sample outputs:

Linux version 3.2.0-0.bpo.1-amd64 (Debian 3.2.4-1~bpo60+1) (ben) (gcc version 4.4.5 (Debian 4.4.5-8) ) #1 SMP Sat Feb 11 08:41:32 UTC 2012

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