Hi everyone, I’m finally back from my holidays, and simply cannot wait to share some more Unix tips with all of you!
Today I’ll talk a bit more about yet another way of learning version information about your Linux OS: the /proc/version file. I mentioned it briefly in one of the previous posts, but would like to finish the explanations.
This file will not show you the name of the actual OS release, but will instead give you specifics about the version of Linux kernel used in your distribution, and confirm the version of a GCC compiler used to build it.
If you cat the /proc/version file, this is what you’re going to see (I’m using a RedHat 5.2 system for this):
In this output, you get to see the following information:
It’s absolutely normal that the kernel is older than the overall release of yours. My example above, generated on the RedHat Enterprise Linux 5.2 system (RHEL5.2), shows the kernel birthday to be Apr 29, 2008. But the actual RHEL5.2 release became available to all the customers only a month later, on May 21st 2008 (here’s the original RedHat 5.2 announcement).
The reason your kernel is a bit older than the rest of the distribution is because kernel is only one part of the final product you’re getting – it may take a while to compile and integrate the rest of the OS before it can be used.
By now, you should know quite a few ways of confirming release information about your Linux distro. Just to remind you, here they are:
This should be more than enough even for the most curious Linux users. Enjoy!