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IamSancho 05-01-2004 09:03 PM

How do I tell what version of Linux is running?
How can I tell what version, flavor or build is running on a device.
I looked /usr/lib/dv and found no entries. Not sure where else to look for this info.

usercsr 05-01-2004 09:08 PM

u can try :

uname -a

Lleb_KCir 05-01-2004 10:49 PM

that code replies what kernal vs im running, but not much more:


Linux localhost.localdomain 2.4.20-31.9 #1 Tue Apr 13 18:04:23 EDT 2004 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux
not much there to find out what distro is running. or is that? ran that as root.

slakmagik 05-01-2004 11:55 PM

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. :D

bulliver 05-02-2004 05:03 AM

uname -a && cat /etc/*release

equinox 05-02-2004 05:59 AM

LOL this is a funny post

m6d4 05-02-2004 07:05 AM

well i m surprised if this is just the question of just seeing what distro u r running then try telneting to that machine and before login u can have enough info u want??

J.W. 05-02-2004 07:30 PM

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.

RichSPK 06-17-2007 09:29 AM

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:

less /etc/debian_version
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.

iman_idiotte 07-11-2007 02:43 PM

Thanks Bulliver

Originally Posted by bulliver
uname -a && cat /etc/*release

Thanks Bulliver. I inherited a machine and needed to know the distro version. This helped.

cysn06 09-19-2007 11:42 PM

Well its a reasonable question, no matter how weird it sounds.
I am renting a web server and needed to know what it was.
Debian 4.0

maanga 12-17-2007 11:36 AM

finally..a sensible answer...

just use cat /etc/issue

linux keeps our brain active :)

ricdave 12-18-2007 12:46 AM

I used cat /etc/issue and got the following. I assume that will work with most mainstream Linux distros.

PCLinuxOS release 2007 (PCLinuxOS) for i586
Kernel on an i686 / \l

UpstreamSwimmer 01-17-2008 03:47 PM

Not a goofy question at all. I just got an Eee PC and knew it's runs Xandros but didn't know which version of Debian it's based on. This would be useful when searching for repos.

For the record, I looked in /etc/issue, as maanga mentioned, and found it's Debian 4.0 (etch).

As mentioned in maanga's link, /proc/version returned even more specific info: Debian 4.1.1-21.


bsriveria 01-26-2008 12:12 PM

SuSE answer
on suse run :

cd /etc

cat SuSE-release

this will give you the exact release number. :twocents:

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