How to check the version of Joomla without hacking?

While it’s easy to detect what version of Joomla a site is running, it is not as easy to detect what revision a site is running. When I receive a support email from a new client, one of the questions that I usually ask is “Which version of Joomla are you using?” But in many cases, the client doesn’t know the version, so I’ve check his Joomla website to find out which version he’s using.

How to check the version of Joomla without hacking?

When you have access to back-end of Joomla!

To check the version of Joomla! 1.5 that you are using on for your website you can simply login to the admin panel and see the version on the top right of the admin panel. In Joomla 1.6, and 1.7, 2.5 it is listed at the bottom of the pages or choosing from menu Site -> System Information.

When you don’t have any access

However, some times there could be situations when you don’t access to those information, like when:

  • You don’t have access to login to the Joomla! back-end.
  • You don’t have access to website FTP.
  • The admin panel template was modified and doesn’t show the version on the top right (Joomla 1.5.x only).

It turns out that even if you do not have access to the control panel or FTP you can check the versions of Joomla, it is neither difficult nor does it require hacking website, enough that you know some basic information and dates. So in that situation, you can simply check the version by browsing through the css (or .ini) files to this file location:

/templates/system/css/system.css

Find and open the file in your browser and check for this part:

Version of Joomla Source Code
Joomla 1.0.x

The easiest way to determine if a site is using Joomla! or not is to view the source code of the page.

Joomla! 1.0.x sites will have the following:

                    <meta name="Generator" content="Joomla! - Copyright (C) 2005 - 2007 Open Source Matters." />
                    
Joomla 1.5

/* OpenID icon style */

and in templates\system\css\template.css file you should find this:

* @copyright Copyright (C) 2005 – 2010 Open Source Matters.

in newer versions of Joomla! this file no longer exists

By default, all Joomla! 1.5.x sites will have the following in the head of their site:

                         <meta name="generator" content="Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management" />
                         
Joomla 1.6 * @version $Id: system.css 20196 2011-01-09 02:40:25Z ian $
Joomla 1.7 * @version $Id: system.css 21322 2011-05-11 01:10:29Z dextercowley $
Joomla 2.5 * @copyright Copyright (C) 2005 – 2012 Open Source Matters

Another way it’s to compare MooTools (JavaScript Framework) versions using a media/system/js/mootools-more.js file:

Joomla 1.5 MooTools={version:’1.12′} media\system\js\mootools.js
Joomla 1.6 MooTools.More={version:”1.3.0.1″
Joomla 1.7 MooTools.More={version:”1.3.2.1″
Joomla 2.5.6 MooTools.More={version:”1.4.0.1″
Joomla 3.0 alpha 2 MooTools.More={version:”1.4.0.1″

Another way to check with Joomla 1.6 or Joomla 1.7.x website is based on it’s to compare date in language file: language/en-GB/en-GB.ini

Joomla 1.5.26 # $Id: en-GB.ini 11391 2009-01-04 13:35:50Z ian $
Joomla 1.6.0 ; $Id: en-GB.ini 20196 2011-01-09 02:40:25Z ian $
Joomla 1.6.5 ; $Id: en-GB.ini 20990 2011-03-18 16:42:30Z infograf768 $
Joomla 1.7.1 ; $Id: en-GB.ini 20990 2011-03-18 16:42:30Z infograf768 $
Joomla 1.7.3 ; $Id: en-GB.ini 22183 2011-09-30 09:04:32Z infograf768 $
Joomla 1.7.5 ; $Id: en-GB.ini 22183 2011-09-30 09:04:32Z infograf768 $
from Joomla 2.5.0 to Joomla 2.5.4

<version>2.5.0</version>

you’ll will see in language/en-GB/en-GB.xml file.

Joomla 2.5.5 Joomla 2.5.6

<version>2.5.5</version>

you’ll will see in language/en-GB/en-GB.xml file.

For more up to date information on how to detect Joomla or WordPress version please see the following article: How to find which CMS, JavaScript libraries and more a website is running?

How to check the version of Joomla without hacking? 4.715 (94.29%) 14 votes
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This article was first published August 23rd, 2012