I am Hack Sparrow
Captain of the Internets.

Linux – Find out which OS distro

How to find out the OS name of a Linux

So how do you get the distro name of the Linux you are using? The uname command doesn't really help a lot of time.

$ uname -a
Linux hackbox 2.6.32-131.17.1.el6.x86_64 #1 SMP Thu Oct 6 19:24:09 BST 2011 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

Try looking for the details in /proc/version.

$ cat /proc/version
Linux version 2.6.32-5-xen-amd64 (Debian 2.6.32-31) (captain@hacksparrow.com) (gcc version 4.3.5 (Debian 4.3.5-4) ) #1 SMP Tue Mar 8 00:01:30 UTC 2011

So that's a Debian.

If you are not lucky with /proc/version. You could try looking at the release files.

$ cat /etc/*-release
CentOS release 6.2 (Final)

CentOS! If that fails, try calling lsb_release.

$ lsb_release -a

You should see the name of the distro in the Distributor ID section.

While we are at it, if you want to know the kernel version the OS is running:

$ uname -mrs
Linux 2.6.35.14-106.53.amzn1.x86_64 x86_64

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