The usual methods to determine the OS versions seem to be viewing
*here would be the family to which the particular version of the OS belongs to. But on the OEL system, the following files are present and all of them seem to be returning valid release versions, in such situations is there a definite method of determining the OS release version details :
cat /etc/redhat-release Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5.8 (Tikanga) cat /etc/enterprise-release Enterprise Linux Enterprise Linux Server release 5.8 (Carthage) cat /etc/oracle-release Oracle Linux Server release 5.8 cat /etc/*release* Enterprise Linux Enterprise Linux Server release 5.8 (Carthage) Oracle Linux Server release 5.8 Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5.8 (Tikanga)
using alternatives as mentioned below are used only in case the above files don't return valid values :
lsb_release -a returns the same output as returned by enterprise-release
Update 1 : context of execution
The /etc/*-release file is examined as a part of a programmatic solution, the value of * is provided by a dummy file which can have these values :
depending on the order of appearance in the above scenario since enterprise appears first /etc/enterprise-release file is queried to find the OS version In case the ordering was otherwise with redhat appearing before enterprise /etc/redhat-release would be used.
This does not seem to be a viable solution hence seeking other more definite methods for determining the version of the OS.