Originally Posted by base - L
i came across on a web server (not a file server) with debian etch installed on it.
a would like to know just how exactly to find out what's the exact distribution on it
not sure what you mean by that? The exact version is Debian Etch, aka Debian 4.0. You can verify this by running the command:
that is a pretty standard command that can be run on just about any linux distribution.
and what software is installed?
from the command line, you can get a list installed software (on debian-based systems) by running:
you can also see a list of all software (both installed and uninstalled) by running aptitude. Aptitude's database, however, can only be updated by root or a sudoer (i.e. sudo aptitude), then, once it's loaded, hit the 'u' key to update.