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There are few ways to figure out what version of Linux you are running on your machine as well as distribution name.

Let's start:

First of all, run:

uname -a

Linux vm-6 6.0.9-200.fc36.x86_64 #1 SMP PREEMPT_DYNAMIC Wed Nov 16 17:50:45 UTC 2022 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

that will give you some idea on the architecture, Linux kernel; sometime it will also indicate if it's Debian, CentOS, Ubuntu and so on. In our case it does not, so we move on.

Next, you will review /proc/version, which stores information about the system.

cat /proc/version
Linux version 6.0.9-200.fc36.x86_64 ( (gcc (GCC) 12.2.1 20220819 (Red Hat 12.2.1-2), GNU ld version 2.37-36.fc36) #1 SMP PREEMPT_DYNAMIC Wed Nov 16 17:50:45 UTC 2022

This seems to be Fedora. The Fedora project is the upstream, community distro of Red Hat® Enterprise Linux.

  • From the above, we establish the kernel that we are running: Linux version 6.0.9-200.fc36.x86_64
  • Internal data on the user who compiled the kernel:
  • A version of the GCC compiler to build the said kernel: gcc (GCC) 12.2.1 20220819
  • Type of the kernel #1 SMP (Symmetric MultiProcessing Kernel) which supports multiple CPUs or/and CPU cores.
  • Date and time when the kernel was compiled: Wed Nov 16 17:50:45 UTC 2022

Next, we can find out the distribution name and release version. For that, the best way to determine would be to review the /etc/os-release file. It is present almost on all Linux systems. Exceptions are some misc appliances, e.g. storage, TV, phones.

Please note that that depending on the distro, the /etc/os-release could be named something else.

  • cat /etc/os-release for Ubuntu, Debian, Mint, RHEL or CentOS or Fedora, Rocky Linux, Alpine Linux, AlmaLinux
  • cat /etc/gentoo-release for Gentoo Linux
  • cat /etc/SuSe-release for OpenSUSE Linux

Here's an output for our Fedora Linux:

cat /etc/os-release
NAME="Fedora Linux"
VERSION="36 (Server Edition)"
PRETTY_NAME="Fedora Linux 36 (Server Edition)"
VARIANT="Server Edition"

We learn a bit more about our system. It is a Fedora Linux 36 (Server Edition).

As an alternative, you can try running the lsb_release utility, which will print Linux Standard Base (LSB for short) information about the particular Linux distro you're running. The lsb_release may not be installed by default. Depending on the distribution, there are different ways on how to install it.

  • sudo yum install redhat-lsb-core for RHEL or CentOS or Fedora, or Rocky Linux
  • sudo apt install lsb-release for Debian, Ubuntu or Mint
  • sudo emerge -a sys-apps/lsb-release for Gentoo
  • sudo apk add lsb_release for Alpine
  • sudo pacman -S lsb-release for Arch
  • sudo zypper install lsb-release for OpenSUSE

Once installed, we run the utility by typing lsb_release -a

lsb_release -a
LSB Version:    :core-4.1-amd64:core-4.1-noarch
Distributor ID: Fedora
Description:    Fedora release 36 (Thirty Six)
Release:        36
Codename:       ThirtySix

It does match with the above, it is a 64bit version of Fedora 36 Linux.

Furthermore, you can use another tool, hostnamectl,

 Static hostname: vm-6
       Icon name: computer-vm
         Chassis: vm П÷√╢
      Machine ID: 8b145c3da3cd489bb2e6ck2634be28d3
         Boot ID: 463eef4b0baa5dda8482a0f954671ae8
  Virtualization: kvm
Operating System: Fedora Linux 36 (Server Edition)
     CPE OS Name: cpe:/o:fedoraproject:fedora:36
          Kernel: Linux 6.0.9-200.fc36.x86_64
    Architecture: x86-64
 Hardware Vendor: QEMU
  Hardware Model: Standard PC _Q35 + ICH9, 2009_

this particular machine is running on the KVM technology (stands for Kernel-based Virtual Machines) and that it is Fedora Linux 36 and x86-64

how_to_find_out_distribution_of_linux.txt · Last modified: 2023/01/03 05:08 by admin

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