Abstract The chemical structures of the oligosaccharide moieties of four glycolipids isolated from pig lung were determined. The identification of methylglycosides obtained by a two-stage methylation—methanolysis of each glycolipid fraction provided evidence for its structural characterisation. The methyl glycosides were analysed by gas chromatography. Evidence of β-linkages was obtained from the infra-red spectra of the glycolipids. The ceramide monohexoside was β-glucosyl-(1→1)-ceramide. β-galactosyl-(1→4)-β- glucosyl-(1→1)-ceramide was the major component (>95%) of the ceramide dihexoside fraction. Small amounts of β-galactosyl-(1→4)-β-galactosyl-(1→1)-ceramide (2%) were present. The ceramide trihexoside and the ceramide hexosaminyltrihexoside fractions were identified as galactosyl-(1→4)-galactosyl-(1→4)-glucosyl-(1→1)-ceramide and N-acetylgalactosaminyl-(1→3)-galactosyl-(1→4)-galactosyl-(1→4)-glucosyl-(1→1)-ceramide respectively.