Check System Information With uname

In today’s article, we’re going to show you how to check system information with uname. This is a pretty handy command to have in your toolbox, and it’s really simple to use.

Once again, I’ll probably not cover every option, but only show you the commands I think you’ll find most useful. This should be both quick and easy enough for anyone to understand. Even a rank beginner should be able to follow along.

If you’ve ever asked a question on a forum, you may have been asked to show the output of the ‘uname -a‘ command. That’s a fine generic command to run, but you don’t have to output all that information. This could come in handy when you’re scripting and only need some of the information.

We’ll be using the uname command, as you might have guessed. According to the man page, the command defines itself as:

uname – print system information

That’s a pretty accurate definition and, sure enough, matches the headline and the introductory paragraph. Like I said, we’ll be collecting system information with uname. There’s not much more to it, so let’s just jump into the article.

Check System Information with uname:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

In it’s basic usage, the uname command can be run without any modifiers at all. To do so, simply type the following to get the system’s name:

The output of that will almost certainly just say ‘Linux’. Handy! 

Ah, but the uname command can do so much more. Want to know if you’re using 32 or 64 bit, the architecture? Easy enough, just use:

Would you like to use uname to check your kernel version? Try this command:

If you want to know your kernel release, that is the specific release you’re using at the moment, you need the -r flag. Try this:

Want to know the name of the network? Amazingly enough, that would require you using the -n flag. So it looks like:

Finally, as I mentioned in the intro, there’s the granddaddy of uname commands, which will output all the information you really need. Sure enough,  it’s accomplished with the -a flag:

As you can see, the flags mostly make sense for this command. Because of this, they should be easy to remember when you need to recall system information with the uname command. To see the complete manual, use the man uname command.


Well, that’s yet another article. I hope you liked reading it as much as I enjoy typing these silly things out. It’s probably time to do a meta article soon – as I’m really itching to do so. There have been some pretty good changes. So, that’ll be a fun article to write and I may do so soon.

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Author: KGIII

Retired mathematician, residing in the mountains of Maine. I may be old and wise, but I am not infallible. Please point out any errors. And, as always, thanks again for reading.

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