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Old 01-22-2009, 10:08 AM   #1
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Determining patch level of Redhat RHEL5 vs RHEL5.1 or RHEL4.5-4.6

Hello all,

I am very embarrassed to ask such a simple question, but I have been unable to find the answer anywhere else.

I have tried "uname -ar" which in any other UNIX system will give almost everything you need. oslevel in AIX / uname -v sun ...etc

Thanks in advance

I know that Linux really doesn't work on rev level like other UNIX flavors, but I just need a quick way to determine where the servers are currently overall - I can query RPM pakages individually and update them via up2date or yum

Last edited by dfezz1; 01-22-2009 at 10:09 AM.
Old 01-22-2009, 02:47 PM   #2
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It depends on what you mean by "patch level". I suspect you mean that in the sense that Solaris uses it (which by the way HP-UX and other UNIX variants do not).

If so then "uname -a" will include with the kernel version
example kernel versions:
Note that the "el5" at end lets you know these are RHEL5 based kernels.

However it does NOT tell you whether they are on a RHEL5(.0), RHEL5.1 or RHEL5.2 box. To find that out you would type: "cat /etc/redhat-release".
Example RHEL versions:
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5 (Tikanga)
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5.2 (Tikanga)

FYI the first kernel above is for first RHEL5(.0) and second is for the RHEL5.2.

To determine specific package versions you can run:
"rpm -qa" to get a list of all installed RPMs. These contain base package version information as well and RedHat version information and sometimes architecture information. (You can force all this by adding options - see "man rpm".)

A good example would be:
Package Name = bind-chroot
Base BIND version is 9.3.4
RedHat's version of the 9.3.4 is 6.0.3.P1.el5_2

The base version lets you know which open version of the open source package (BIND is made by ISC rather than RedHat) you have. The RedHat version lets you know RedHat's version for this.

This version information is key because RedHat often backports security fixes and other changes to the base version. For example ISC's BIND didn't address a known attack called the Kaminsky attack until AFTER 9.3.4. However RedHat backported the fix put in the ISC BIND later version into their 9.3.4 version above. To know exactly what is in the version you're looking at you'd have to go to RedHat's site to get the detail.
Old 01-23-2009, 09:17 AM   #3
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Thanks jlightner


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