Different ways to get OS version

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# 1  
Old 09-18-2011
Different ways to get OS version

I am trying to figure out the OS version of my Linux box. I got three commands:
# uname -a
Linux test01     2.6.18-238.el5 #1 SMP Thu Jan 13 15:51:15 EST 2011 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64

# cat /proc/version
Linux version 2.6.18-238.el5 (mockbuild@builder10.centos.org) (gcc version 4.1.2 20080704 (Red Hat 4.1.2-48)) #1 SMP Thu Jan 13 15:51:15 EST 2011

# cat /etc/redhat-release
CentOS release 5.6 (Final)

What are the difference of these three commands?

Last edited by pludi; 09-18-2011 at 07:43 PM..
# 2  
Old 09-18-2011
Well, for starters, redhat-release only exists on redhat. it's also only a file, so might lie or be missing.

More distributions have /etc/release but it's not impossible they won't, or be incorrect.

/proc/version is more general but only a Linux thing as far as I know.

uname exists almost everywhere.
# 3  
Old 09-18-2011
Mainly the amount of information they give you, and the availability.
uname is defined by the POSIX standard and is available on every Unix and Unix-like OS, and gives you information on the OS type, version, and architecture.
/proc/version, as part of the proc pseudo-fs is only available on Linux, and gives you some more detailed information about the kernel, and where and when it was built.

/etc/redhat-release is Red Hat (and derivates) specific, probably not available on any other distribution, and tells you the brand and version of the Linux distribution (not the OS) you're running.
# 4  
Old 09-19-2011
Thanks above!

I was running the commands on a virtual machine. It is supposed that the VM with CentOS5.6 running on a Linux machine. So with the output of "cat /etc/redhat-release", can I say the VM was set up with right CentOS?
# 5  
Old 09-19-2011
yes !!


cat /proc/version :
displays additional information like Name of the user who compiled your kernel, and also a host name where it happened and GCC version used.

the info about the kernel version uname -v , about machine uname -m ..etc.. all can be combined together as #uname -msrnv or #uname -a simply
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