When supporting systems you have inherited or in environments that have many different OS versions and distributions of Linux. There are times when you simply don't know off hand what OS version or distribution the server you are logged into is.
Luckily there is a simple way to figure that out.
$ cat /etc/lsb-release DISTRIB_ID=Ubuntu DISTRIB_RELEASE=13.04 DISTRIB_CODENAME=raring DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="Ubuntu 13.04"
# cat /etc/redhat-release Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5 (Tikanga)
If you are looking for a quick way and don't care what the output looks like, you can simply do this as well.
$ cat /etc/*-release DISTRIB_ID=Ubuntu DISTRIB_RELEASE=13.04 DISTRIB_CODENAME=raring DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="Ubuntu 13.04" NAME="Ubuntu" VERSION="13.04, Raring Ringtail" ID=ubuntu ID_LIKE=debian PRETTY_NAME="Ubuntu 13.04" VERSION_ID="13.04" HOME_URL="http://www.ubuntu.com/" SUPPORT_URL="http://help.ubuntu.com/" BUG_REPORT_URL="http://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/"
Recently Benjamin published his first book; Red Hat Enterprise Linux Troubleshooting Guide. In addition to writing, he has several Open Source projects focused on making Ops easier. These projects include Automatron, a project enabling auto-healing infrastructure for the masses.
Identify, capture and resolve common issues faced by Red Hat Enterprise Linux administrators using best practices and advanced troubleshooting techniques
What people are saying:
Excellent, excellent resource for practical guidance on how to troubleshoot a wide variety of problems on Red Hat Linux. I particularly enjoyed how the author made sure to provide solid background and practical examples. I have a lot of experience on Red Hat but still came away with some great practical tools to add to my toolkit. - Amazon Review