More often than I wish I come across a post (mostly a question) which uses wrong version numbers of Ubuntu.


Please note that (unlike Windows, for example) Ubuntu versions use the form YY.MM where YY is the year and MM the month of release. Ubuntu is released twice a year regularly (April and October) and for each year, the versions x.04 and x.10 are different. Moreover, the versions 17.04 and 17.10, for example, are not closer to each other than 17.10 and 18.04.

If you use just e.g. 17 as a version number, we can just guess whether you mean 17.04 or 17.10. Sometimes the guess can be quite easy at the time of posting but the situation changes over the time as new releases come out and other ones cross EOL!

As you can see in the above examples, the questions lacking the full version number are often not answered. You should make your question as clear and specific as you can and a valid version number is a simple piece of help in making the question clear and answerable.

  • 1
    Speaking of Windows versioning, Windows 10 versions are in the form YYMM, e.g. the most recent one, 1803 (though it was apparently delayed until the end of April).
    – wjandrea
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 16:27
  • @wjandrea I meant the Windows numbering 7, 8, 10. I think it can (mis)lead new Ubuntu users to only use the first part of the number.
    – Melebius
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 17:11
  • 4
    @Melebius maybe not for long. Windows 10 is the last version of Windows. Commented May 24, 2018 at 11:19
  • Personally, I would consider 17.01 to be 17.10 with a case of keyboard dyslexia..
    – Elder Geek
    Commented May 29, 2018 at 20:09
  • 1
    @ElderGeek Well, the 01 could have been 10 swapped but there is another option: The 1 could have been quite easily typed instead of 4 (on the numpad). Therefore I would refuse to decide this one without additional information.
    – Melebius
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 0:09
  • True. I believe my answer holds a solution regardless.
    – Elder Geek
    Commented May 30, 2018 at 11:31
  • @TheWanderer It is? Commented Jun 1, 2018 at 22:40
  • 1
    In some cases, Ubuntu version is entirely irrelevant, so in such cases when user says "I'm using Ubuntu 18" but question has nothing to do with the version, like bash scripting or text processing, then it might be even worth to edit that out of the question entirely. Commented Jun 4, 2018 at 6:13
  • @SergiyKolodyazhnyy Thank you for your feedback, I tried to make the title more specific. However, I had written in the first sentence already that I was complaining about wrong version numbers, not no numbers at all.
    – Melebius
    Commented Jun 4, 2018 at 8:28

1 Answer 1


We all run across questions like this. Note that questions regarding the usage of many CLI programs don't even need this info to be answerable as they aren't version specific. I think it's safe to say that the vast majority of us would very much like to see accurate representations of the questions that we endeavor to answer. The solution to this apparent problem is usually very simple. The steps I use are as follows.

1) Leave a comment requesting the output of lsb_release -a or even lsb_release -d either of which will indicate not only the major but also the point version as in:

me@zippy-64bit:~$ lsb_release -a
No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS
Release:    16.04
Codename:   xenial

me@zippy-64bit:~$ lsb_release -d
Description:    Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS

2) Also in your comment thank the author of the post for helping us help them. This seems to increase the likelihood of an appropriate response. You might also consider requesting that they review https://askubuntu.com/help/how-to-ask

3) Vote To Close as "Unclear what your asking" as it is (unclear at least to you).

Many of the questions that we get are from people who have little or no experience whatsoever with 'nix systems and most will respond well to requests for further information provided that you tell them how to get it.

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