Originally Posted by chitranjan
one more thing can i know vice versa i.e given the name of distribution like redhat 7.1,8.0 or 6.1 and know which kernel version they contain without actually installing them ?
The above points are great, but to directly answer your question, yes you can find out what kernel a particular version of a particular distro comes with *without* installing it. Using Fedora as an example, you head to a mirror that is close to you (or if you are like a lot of people, just go to redhat's mirror) and then follow the links down until you come to the version in question. We'll use FC4 for example:
You click the 'os', then Fedora, then RPMS directory to get here:
As you can see, Fedora automatically redirected me to the iu.edu mirror, so that's a nicety that you won't always find.
In the RPMS directory, you should be able to find what kernel is offered.
Using the "find" function of your browser (in firefox press CTRL F), you will find this package (type kernel):
So, FC4 originally came with 2.6.11 Then Fedora added their patch set, which brings you to the the -1.1369 added version.
Hopefully that's not too confusing, just trying to point out that you don't need to install a slew of distros to find one that has the kernel you are looking for.