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How to know version of a CentOS server without access to any graphical interface? I've tried several commands:

# cat /proc/version
Linux version 2.6.18-128.el5 (mockbuild@hs20-bc1-7.build.redhat.com)
(gcc version 4.1.2 20080704 (Red Hat 4.1.2-44)) #1 SMP Wed Dec 17 11:41:38 EST 2008

# cat /etc/issue
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5.3 (Tikanga)

but which one is correct: 4.1.2-4 from /proc/version or 5.3 from /etc/issue?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

As you can see in /etc/issue, you're using CentOS 5.3. (It says Red Hat because CentOS is based upon the RH sources, and some software checks /etc/issue to identify the distro in use; thus, they'd fail if this was changed to CentOS).

The 4.1.2-4 in /proc/version refers to the version of the gcc C compiler used to build the kernel.

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I'll just add, what You could use uname -a to detect, if it 32 or 64 bit compatible. –  Fedir May 31 '13 at 9:46

In cases like CentOS the actual version is usually placed in /etc/*elease.

cat /etc/*elease

granted this file usually holds the version of the entire OS minus the kernel (since you can choose which to load). This file will have the same information as /etc/issue but with CentOS instead of RedHat

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The most reliable way of finding MAJOR version of CentOS (5 or 6 etc) is:

# rpm -q --queryformat '%{VERSION}' centos-release

For RHEL do this:

# rpm -q --queryformat '%{RELEASE}' redhat-release-server | awk -F. '{print $1}'

The only portable way of finding out a version is:

# cat /etc/redhat-release | grep -oE '[0-9]+\.[0-9]+'
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