000027949 - KB-1467 - How to identify which OS (Operating System) is installed on an IMG ACM (Aveksa) appliance

Document created by RSA Customer Support Employee on Jun 14, 2016Last modified by RSA Customer Support Employee on Apr 21, 2017
Version 2Show Document
  • View in full screen mode

Article Content

Article Number000027949
Applies ToAffected Versions: All Versions
All Platforms

Is there a way to tell not only what version of Linux is running on the system being accessed, but what 'brand' of Linux?
How can I tell if I am running RedHat or SUSE Linux?


The basic system information command, uname, does not tell you which release of Linux is being used.
For example, review the output of these two commands:

uname -a

Linux vm-support-28 #1 SMP 2009-02-28 04:40:21 +0100 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
uname -a

Linux vm-support-04 2.6.9-67 ELsmp #1 SMP Wed Nov 7 13:58:04 EST 2007 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux

Other than the IP address and/or hostname, the data returned from the uname command doesn't specifically indicate which OS type is running.


There are several commands and methods that can be used to determine the Linux distribution installed.  These include:

1. Log in via a terminal

After a successful log in the OS will be shown as part of the login information, such as that seen below:


login as: oracle

Using keyboard-interactive authentication.


Last login: Tue Nov 30 11:12:32 2010 from

Kickstart-installed SuSE Linux Thu Oct 21 10:07:48 EDT 2010


login as: oracle

oracle@vm-support-42's password:

Last login: Wed Nov 17 11:50:07 2010 from

Kickstart-installed Red Hat Linux Wed Oct 27 10:54:47 EDT 2010


2. Print  out the version using the command "cat /proc/version"  or "uname -a".
 Platform version information is kept in the file /proc/version.  Review of this file provides OS information.


$ 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

        $ uname -a
          Linux myhost.domain.com 2.6.18-398.el5 #1 SMP Tue Aug 12 06:26:17 EDT 2014 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux


For reference, these values correspond to this version of RedHat:

2.6.18-128.el5 =      RHEL 5 U3
2.6.18-308.el5 =      RHEL 5 U8

2.6.18-348.e15 =      RHEL 5 U9
2.6.18-371.e15 =      RHEL 5 U10
2.6.18-398.e15 =      RHEL 5 U11

2.6.32-71.e16 =       RHEL 6 GA 
2.6.32-131.0.15.e16 = RHEL 6 U1
2.6.32-220.e16 =      RHEL 6 U
2.6.32-279.e16 =      RHEL 6 U
2.6.32-358.e16 =      RHEL 6 U4
2 2.6.32-431.e16 =    RHEL 6 U5 


Linux version (geeko@buildhost) (gcc version 4.3.2 [gcc-4_3-branch revision 141291] (SUSE Linux) ) #1 SMP 2009-02-28 04:40:21 +0100

3.  linux command that can be used to determine the OS:   lsb_release -a
Another Linux command that show's the OS version is:   lsb_release -a   (this works with non-root users)
For example on a RedHat System,  the output could look like this:

$ lsb_release -a
LSB Version:    :core-4.0-amd64:core-4.0-ia32:core-4.0-noarch:graphics-4.0-amd64:graphics-4.0-ia32:graphics-4.0-noarch:printing-4.0-amd64:printing-4.0-ia32:printing-4.0-noarch
Distributor ID: RedHatEnterpriseServer
Description:    Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5.8 (Tikanga)
Release:        5.8
Codename:       Tikanga

On an SuSE system, the output could look like this:
$ lsb_release -a
LSB Version:    core-2.0-noarch:core-3.2-noarch:core-4.0-noarch:core-2.0-x86_64:core-3.2-x86_64:core-4.0-x86_64:desktop-4.0-amd64:desktop-4.0-noarch:graphics-2.0-amd64:graphics-2.0-noarch:graphics-3.2-amd64:graphics-3.2-noarch:graphics-4.0-amd64:graphics-4.0-noarch
Distributor ID: SUSE LINUX
Description:    SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 (x86_64)
Release:        11
Codename:       n/a

4. Check for the existence of certain OS specific files in the /etc directory.

Another simple way to determine the OS type is to check for the existence of certain OS specific files in the /etc directory

On a RedHat system, these files begin with 'red'.
On a SUSE system, these files being with 'suse'.

Obviously, files beginning with red will not exist on a SUSE system, and vice-versa, files beginning with 'suse' will not exist on a RedHat system.

For example:

On a SUSE install, you would see something like this when you issue an ls command of the /etc directory:


ls /etc/red*

ls: cannot access /etc/red*: No such file or directory


ls /etc/*suse*


On a RedHat system, the output would look something like this:


ls /etc/suse*

ls: /etc/suse*: No such file or directory


ls /etc/red*

lsb_killproc lsb_log_message lsb_pidofproc lsb_start_daemon