Here are the five easy and simple methods to verify your Linux system’s OS type. It doesn’t matter whether you’re using a GUI or CLI type systems, the following commands will work on almost all Linux operating systems such as RHEL, CentOS, Fedora, Scientific Linux, Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, OpenSUSE etc.


1. uname Command


uname -a command will display your Linux system’s OS type. This is the universal command and it will work on almost all Linux/Unix operating systems.


To find out the system’s OS type, run:

$ uname -a

Linux 3.13.0-37-generic #64-Ubuntu SMP Sat Jan 15 11:38:08 UTC 2014 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux


2. dpkg Command


dpkg command will also display whether your Debian/Ubuntu operating system is 32-bit or 64-bit. This command will work only on Debian and Ubuntu-based distributions and it’s derivatives.


Open your Terminal, and run:

$ dpkg --print-architecture 


If your OS is 64-bit, you’ll get the following output:



If your OS is 32-bit, then the output will be:



3. getconf Command


getconf command will also display the system configuration variables. Now, let me show you how to find out the Linux system arch using getconf command.

$ getconf LONG_BIT



For more details refer the man pages.

$ man getconf


4. arch Command


arch command will display your OS type. This command is similar to uname -m command. If its output is x86_64 then it’s 64-bit OS. If the output is i686 or i386, then it’s 32-bit OS.

$ arch



5. file Command


file command with a special argument /sbin/init will display the OS type.

$ file /sbin/init

/sbin/init: ELF 64-bit LSB  shared object, x86-64, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked (uses shared libs), for GNU/Linux 2.6.24, BuildID[sha1]=7a4c688d009fc1f06ffc692f5f42ab09e68582b2, stripped


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