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According to the manpage, the option -v will report the version number. But when I use /etc/init.d/named -v it outputs the following:

Usage: /etc/init.d/named {start|stop|status|restart|condrestart|reload|probe}

I am using CentOS 5.7 on a VPS, with WHM/cPanel.

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To be specific, scripts in /etc/init.d are startup scripts for the services, so what you did was pass the "-v" option to the script. The script obviously doesn't understand the "-v" option. If you didn't already have the answer from Mike, you can read the script to see what the actual executable being called from the script would be. – cjc Jan 20 '12 at 15:56
up vote 8 down vote accepted

that is how you start bind via the init.d script.. not the binary itself

/usr/sbin/named -v
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Mike's answer will work. Also: yum info packagename will tell you about any package, just replace packagename with the piece of software you'd like to learn about.

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