I want to figure out what type of Red Hat Linux machine I am using. Is there a file on my system I can look at?

cat /etc/*-release

Should be what you are looking for.

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uname -a will do it, and has the benefit of working on almost all distros and showing you other system info too.

In addition, you can try looking at /proc/version if your system has it.

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  • uname -a will tell you what kernel you are running, but won't tell you what distribution (or release of that distribution) you are using (unless you can read that out of a sub-minor kernel version number). /etc/redhat-release (or similar file) will show you the distro release number – Ian Clelland Aug 18 '09 at 23:14
  • "uname -a" will tell you the distribution name in some cases. For instance, Gentoo embeds "gentoo" in the kernel version string. – James Sneeringer Aug 19 '09 at 1:42

If it's recent enough:

lsb_release -a

Should give you some good information.

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  • This is good if LSB compatibility packages are installed. The advice to check /etc/*-release is usually more universal however. – Jeremy Bouse Aug 19 '09 at 1:52

Right you can use lsb_release -a, or may be:

cat /etc/issue; uname -a

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If you are interested in finding out the processor details /proc/cpuinfo or memory details /proc/meminfo will work as well. CPU info is particularly useful if you need to check for support of certain kinds of instruction extensions. It will list out all the supported extensions of the present CPU and also its present operating speed.

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