How to Check Kali Linux OS Version installed on PC or VM

Many times we need to check, which version of Linux or Kali we are on, before installing some software or upgrading. Thus to do that, here are some simple commands which one can run using the Linux command terminal to instantly find out the version of Kali Linux he or she is on.

  • The simplest command to know the current installation information of Kali.
    grep VERSION /etc/os-release
    
    The output of the above command would be like this:
    
    VERSION="2018.3"
    VERSION_ID="2018.3"
    VERSION_CODENAME="kali-rolling"
  • Using dmesg command:
    dmesg | head -1
    
    Output:
    Linux version 4.17.0-5-kalil-amd64 (devel@kernel.org)
    (gcc version 7.3.0 (Debian 7.3.0-25) ) 
    #1 SMP Debian 4.17.8-1kalil (2018-07-24)

    Kali system version checking

  • Alternative command for the above one to check Kali version
    cat /proc/version
  • A common command which to check Kali system version which is also applicable for Ubuntu, CentOS and other modern Linux distros.
    cat /etc/os-release
    
    Output for the above command will be like this:
    
    PRETTY_NAME="Kali GNU/Linux Rolling"
    NAME="Klai GNU/Linux"
    ID="kali"
    VERSION="2018.3"
    VERSION_ID="2018.3"
    ID_LIKE=debian
    ANSI_COLOR="1;31"
    HOME_URL="https://www.kali.org/"
    SUPPORT_URL="https://forums.kali.org"
    BUG_REPORT_URL="https://bugs.debian.org/"

    Check Kali Linux system versions

So, these are some quick methods to extract Linux system version information of KALI penetration testing distro.

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