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How can you not know what distro you're running? In most distros there's something like
in /etc. A distro's just a packager, so there's no system stuff that could tell you that. Unless you're running Mandrake and do 'ls /bin/*drake' or whatever.
There is really no way to define which "version" of Linux is running on your box. The uname command is the closest thing to it, which will tell you which version of the *kernel* is running.
As for which distro, it would hard to believe that you wouldn't know what you installed on your own PC. Keep in mind that a distro is simply a kernel plus a set of packages that the distro creator decided should be included. Even in the case of a stock Redhat, Mandrake, Slack, Debian, or whatever installation, if you decided on your own to install various other packages that were not part of that initial installation, would it still be a "Redhat" or "Slack" installation? That's debatable. -- J.W.
I know this is an ancient thread, but I screwed up my mail server's configuration and couldn't remember what version of Debian it was running. Google led me here. The answer for Debian is that it stores it's version number in /etc/debian_version, so type:
If you don't have the file /etc/debian_version then you're probably not running Debian.
Also, I can tell you one way you can forget what distro you have installed. When I switched my laptop from Windows to Linux a year or two ago, I played around with a lot of distros before I settled on one. Then I didn't have to mess with the installation for a long time, and I found when someone asked me what distro I was running, I could no longer remember whether it was Debian or Ubuntu. I was pretty sure it was Ubuntu, but another WLUG member clued me in that it must be Debian because I was running IceWeasel.