# How to confirm your kernel release and version of your Raspberry Pi OS.

The kernel of Raspberry Pi OS is the core feature which handles Raspberry Pi's hardware resources like memory, CPU, and devices like a wifi dongle sticking on the USB port. Because device management is the kernel's responsibility, device drivers run as part of the kernel. So, some of the device drivers, like the driver of RTL8188eus wifi dongle, are sensitive to the kernel's version and build number.

# How to confirm?

Log in to your Raspberry Pi and carry out the following command:

uname -a

The uname command is for printing system information. The "-a" option indicates to show all info. You can see the following response.

uname -a
Linux raspberrypi 5.10.17-v7+ #1414 SMP Fri Apr 30 13:18:35 BST 2021 armv7l GNU/Linux

The response above means as follows:

  • Linux: kernel name
  • raspberrypi: network node hostname
  • 5.10.17-v7+: kernel release, also well called kernel version string
  • #1414 SMP Fri Apr 30 13:18:35 BST 2021: kernel version
  • armv7l: machine hardware name
  • GNU/Linux: operating system

Each piece of information has a corresponding option to display it alone as follows:

pi@raspberrypi:~ $ uname -s
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ uname -n
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ uname -r
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ uname -v
#1414 SMP Fri Apr 30 13:18:35 BST 2021
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ uname -m
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ uname -o
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ 

Meaning of kernel version string of Raspberry Pi OS If you run uname -r on different types of Raspberry Pi, you'll see variations of response like

  • Raspberry Pi A+
    • 6.1.21+
  • Raspberry Pi 2
    • 6.1.21-v7+

You can see also "6.1.21-v8+". The extra string "-v7" or "-v8" indicate the ARM architecture (opens new window) version. The default in the Raspberry Pi is "v6". For the Raspberry Pi A+, The ARM architecture version of the chip on the Raspberry Pi A+ is "v6" by default, so there is no additional string.

Last Updated: 6/9/2023, 3:49:40 AM