cat /etc/*-release — finding out linux release version 

If you have a lot of different Linux distributions installed on many different machines it is easy to forget what distribution version runs on which PC. Well worry not! It is easy enough to findout. On Novell's Open SuSE Linux, the distribution release information is contained in the /etc/SuSE-release file. Simply cat it to see its content in your terminal.

cat /etc/SuSE-release  # ©2007

The above command produced the following output on one of our Linux boxes.

SUSE LINUX 10.0 (X86-64) OSS
VERSION = 10.0

The following command is used to findout the release version on RedHat's Fedora Linux.

cat /etc/redhat-release  # ©2007

The output will look something like this

Fedora Core release 6 (Zod)

or like this

Fedora release 8 (Werewolf)

depending on what version of Fedora you are running. Thus, the naming convention used should be quite clear by now. If you do not even know what type of the distribution is installed, simply run the following command.

cat /etc/*-release  # ©2007

On our Ubuntu Linux box the output is as follows.


If you really want to know in which file the above information is contained in, then simply run the following find command from shell.

find /etc -iname "*release*"  # ©2007

For an Ubuntu distribution, the above command produces the following output.


cat of this file produces same output as above.

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3 Responses to “cat /etc/*-release — finding out linux release version”

  1. Rootserver Says:


    Linux Blog » cat /etc/*-release — finding out linux release version…

  2. Linux Howtos Says:

    Linux Howtos…

    […]Linux Blog » cat /etc/*-release — finding out linux release version[…]…

  3. Alex Says:

    You may use cat /etc/issue to print out the version number as well

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