Linux Command Library


print distribution-specific information

- Print all available information:
lsb_release -a

- Print a description (usually the full name) of the operating system:
lsb_release -d

- Print only the operating system name (ID), suppressing the field name:
lsb_release -i -s

- Print the release number and codename of the distribution, suppressing the field names:
lsb_release -rcs

lsb_release [options]

The lsb_release command provides certain LSB (Linux Standard Base) and distribution-specific information.

If no options are given, the -v option is assumed.

The program follows the usual GNU command line syntax, with long options starting with two dashes (`--'). A summary of options are included below.

-v, --version
Show the version of the LSB against which your current installation is compliant. The version is expressed as a colon separated list of LSB module descriptions.
-i, --id
Display the distributor's ID.
-d, --description
Display a description of the currently installed distribution.
-r, --release
Display the release number of the currently installed distribution.
-c, --codename
Display the code name of the currently installed distribution.
-a, --all
Display all of the above information.
-s, --short
Use the short output format for any information displayed. This format omits the leading header(s).
-h, --help
Show summary of options.

This is a reimplementation of the lsb_release command provided by the Free Standards Group. Any bugs are solely the responsibility of the author below.

Detection of systems using a mix of packages from various distributions or releases is something of a black art; the current heuristic tends to assume that the installation is of the earliest distribution which is still being used by apt but that heuristic is subject to error.


Chris Lawrence <>.

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