I can get the information about which os I am using by cat /etc/os-release. Which command should I use to get the release date of Raspbian OS, for example 2018-11-13. Thanks

4 Answers 4



cat /boot/issue.txt

instead. This is specific to official Raspbian image files downloaded from raspberrypi.org

  • 1
    yes, that file is copied from /etc/rpi-issue (see my answer) in the latter stages of pi-gen
    – Dirk
    Dec 4, 2018 at 12:50

All RPF Raspbian images are generated using pi-gen which adds the file /etc/rpi-issue with some information (when generated, type of image, etc).


pi@raspi3b:~/dev/tensor$ cat /etc/rpi-issue
Raspberry Pi reference 2018-04-18
Generated using pi-gen, https://github.com/RPi-Distro/pi-gen, d6c238c1b2b1b070a574d3e25048ca442e3e221f, stage5

NB: the date is the date the image is generated, not necessarily the date mentioned as the release date on the RPF website


The Answers above are both correct, but the Original Release date is not particularly meaningful; my fully updated Raspbian shows Raspberry Pi reference 2017-08-16

https://raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/a/85016/8697 shows how to list current state of the Pi.

  • Maybe work back from the distribution code name. Most queries are concerned with the build date and version of the kernel. The release date can float, and may not be known at build time.
    – mckenzm
    Dec 4, 2018 at 22:57

Use uname -a and vcgencmd version to get your kernel version and bootcode build dates.

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