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Old 11-25-2015, 06:13 AM   #1
mendologist
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How do I identify the distro on a cd, DVD or USB drive without booting it?


I have a number of USB Memory Sticks and some CD/DVDs with either Live or Installed Distros on. If I plug them in which File/Folder do I look at to identify the Distro and Version etc without having to boot them.
 
Old 11-25-2015, 06:20 AM   #2
syg00
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/etc - most of the time it should be pretty obvious which file(s) to cat. But varies by distro.
 
Old 11-25-2015, 07:27 AM   #3
michaelk
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Searching /etc would be true for an installed distribution but not necessarily for a live version. There could be a readme file that contains the distribution/version. For some it isn't obvious by just mounting the drive/CD and looking at the contents.
 
Old 11-25-2015, 02:54 PM   #4
ondoho
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cat /etc/*issue /etc/*release

but with many .isos it does not help, because there's no /etc directory.

you really have to look at the / files & directories; usually there's some sort of README.
 
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Old 11-25-2015, 04:01 PM   #5
rknichols
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Often the filesystem label in the ISO will tell you. You can use the file command to see it.
Code:
$ file some_random.iso 
some_random.iso: ISO 9660 CD-ROM filesystem data 'CentOS_6.6_Final' (bootable)
(I deliberately gave the file a non-descriptive name just to demonstrate.)

For a physical disk in a drive, use "file -s /dev/cdrom" (or whatever device name is appropriate).

Last edited by rknichols; 11-25-2015 at 04:04 PM.
 
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Old 11-25-2015, 08:21 PM   #6
TobiSGD
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Most live distributions use a squashfs image for their filesystem, so if the advice given above doesn't work just install squashfs-tools and mount the image, the look for /etc/os-release (virtually any distribution nowadays has tat file).
 
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Old 11-26-2015, 05:51 AM   #7
ilesterg
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Same problem. That's what we get for keeping lots of installation DVDs without properly labeling them.

What I did was to mount the ISO files temporarily, then handpicked files which appear to be informational text files.

Sample from the Centos7 minimal iso:
Code:
EULA
isolinux/isolinux.cfg
.treeinfo
 
  


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