As a new Red Hat Enterprise Linux user, it may be difficult to figure out how to figure out what version of RHEL you are running, especially if you have multiple versions on multiple servers. Here are 3 easy methods for determining your version and architecture. These examples should work in any Red Hat Linux environment, but these examples are specific to RHEL.
First Method for RHEL Version Command
Find Red Hat Enterprise Linux version using /etc/redhat-release file In this example we will be using the cat command to print the contents of the /etc/redhat-release file to the screen:
$ cat /etc/redhat-release
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 6.5 (Santiago)
In this example, RHEL is version 6.5. Santiago is the codename of the Linux project that is denoted by version 6.5 (For example, Ubuntu names all its releases after animals in alphabetical order by version.)
Second Method: Determine what version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux is running using lsb_release command
First, we will install a package called redhat-lsb-core using the yum command. We need root privileges to do this, so we will invoke it by using sudo immediately before the command to get super user privileges. This prevents us from having to log in as root, which is a security risk:
$ sudo yum install redhat-lsb-core
The output should look something like this:
Loaded plugins: product-id, protectbase, rhnplugin This system is receiving updates from RHN Classic or RHN Satellite. 0 packages excluded due to repository protections Setting up Install Process Resolving Dependencies --> Running transaction check ---> Package redhat-lsb-core.x86_64 0:4.0-7.el6 will be installed epel/filelists_db | 8.1 MB 00:02 ksplice-uptrack/filelists | 2.2 kB 00:00 rhel-x86_64-server-6/filelists | 28 MB 00:04 rhel-x86_64-server-6-debuginfo/filelists | 38 MB 00:05 rhel-x86_64-server-optional-6/filelists | 10 MB 00:01 rhel-x86_64-server-optional-6-debuginfo/filelists | 34 MB 00:05 rhel-x86_64-server-supplementary-6/filelists | 1.5 MB 00:00 rhel-x86_64-server-supplementary-6-debuginfo/filelists | 863 B 00:00 --> Processing Dependency: perl-Test-Simple for package: redhat-lsb-core-4.0-7.el6.x86_64 --> Processing Dependency: perl-CGI for package: redhat-lsb-core-4.0-7.el6.x86_64 --> Processing Dependency: /usr/bin/pax for package: redhat-lsb-core-4.0-7.el6.x86_64 --> Processing Dependency: /usr/bin/patch for package: redhat-lsb-core-4.0-7.el6.x86_64 --> Processing Dependency: /bin/gettext for package: redhat-lsb-core-4.0-7.el6.x86_64 --> Processing Dependency: /usr/bin/msgfmt for package: redhat-lsb-core-4.0-7.el6.x86_64 --> Running transaction check ---> Package gettext.x86_64 0:0.17-16.el6 will be installed --> Processing Dependency: cvs for package: gettext-0.17-16.el6.x86_64 ---> Package patch.x86_64 0:2.6-6.el6 will be installed ---> Package pax.x86_64 0:3.4-10.1.el6 will be installed ---> Package perl-CGI.x86_64 0:3.51-136.el6 will be installed ---> Package perl-Test-Simple.x86_64 0:0.92-136.el6 will be installed --> Running transaction check ---> Package cvs.x86_64 0:1.11.23-16.el6 will be installed --> Finished Dependency Resolution Dependencies Resolved ================================================================================ Package Arch Version Repository Size ================================================================================ Installing: redhat-lsb-core x86_64 4.0-7.el6 rhel-x86_64-server-6 25 k Installing for dependencies: cvs x86_64 1.11.23-16.el6 rhel-x86_64-server-6 712 k gettext x86_64 0.17-16.el6 rhel-x86_64-server-6 1.8 M patch x86_64 2.6-6.el6 rhel-x86_64-server-6 91 k pax x86_64 3.4-10.1.el6 rhel-x86_64-server-6 69 k perl-CGI x86_64 3.51-136.el6 rhel-x86_64-server-6 209 k perl-Test-Simple x86_64 0.92-136.el6 rhel-x86_64-server-6 112 k Transaction Summary ================================================================================ Install 7 Package(s) Total download size: 3.0 M Installed size: 0 Is this ok [y/N]: y Downloading Packages: (1/7): cvs-1.11.23-16.el6.x86_64.rpm | 712 kB 00:00 (2/7): gettext-0.17-16.el6.x86_64.rpm | 1.8 MB 00:00 (3/7): patch-2.6-6.el6.x86_64.rpm | 91 kB 00:00 (4/7): pax-3.4-10.1.el6.x86_64.rpm | 69 kB 00:00 (5/7): perl-CGI-3.51-136.el6.x86_64.rpm | 209 kB 00:00 (6/7): perl-Test-Simple-0.92-136.el6.x86_64.rpm | 112 kB 00:00 (7/7): redhat-lsb-core-4.0-7.el6.x86_64.rpm | 25 kB 00:00 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Total 3.1 MB/s | 3.0 MB 00:00 Running rpm_check_debug Running Transaction Test Transaction Test Succeeded Running Transaction Installing : cvs-1.11.23-16.el6.x86_64 1/7 Installing : gettext-0.17-16.el6.x86_64 2/7 Installing : perl-Test-Simple-0.92-136.el6.x86_64 3/7 Installing : pax-3.4-10.1.el6.x86_64 4/7 Installing : perl-CGI-3.51-136.el6.x86_64 5/7 Installing : patch-2.6-6.el6.x86_64 6/7 Installing : redhat-lsb-core-4.0-7.el6.x86_64 7/7 Verifying : patch-2.6-6.el6.x86_64 1/7 Verifying : perl-CGI-3.51-136.el6.x86_64 2/7 Verifying : redhat-lsb-core-4.0-7.el6.x86_64 3/7 Verifying : pax-3.4-10.1.el6.x86_64 4/7 Verifying : gettext-0.17-16.el6.x86_64 5/7 Verifying : perl-Test-Simple-0.92-136.el6.x86_64 6/7 Verifying : cvs-1.11.23-16.el6.x86_64 7/7 Installed: redhat-lsb-core.x86_64 0:4.0-7.el6 Dependency Installed: cvs.x86_64 0:1.11.23-16.el6 gettext.x86_64 0:0.17-16.el6 patch.x86_64 0:2.6-6.el6 pax.x86_64 0:3.4-10.1.el6 perl-CGI.x86_64 0:3.51-136.el6 perl-Test-Simple.x86_64 0:0.92-136.el6 Complete!
Now type the following command:
$ lsb_release -a
LSB Version: :base-4.0-amd64:base4.0-noarch:core-4.0-amd64:core-4.0-noarch Distributor ID: RedHatEnterpriseServer Description: Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 6.5 (Santiago) Release: 6.5 Codename: Santiago
This method finds the base version and returns who distributed the version of Linux you are using (Fedora, Red Hat, Ubuntu) and the version number. lsb is simply a command much like ls, which lists files and folders, for the base version of the operating system. You will come to find when writing in code and especially within php, thinking on your feet to know quick linux commands can make all the difference. That is why we recommend every take our free jquery tutorial as well since it is yet another skill you would benefit from having
Third Method: Find RHEL version command using /etc/issue file Type the following cat command in a terminal window:
$ cat /etc/issue
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 6.5 (Santiago) Kernel \r on an \m
The /etc/issue file is specifically designed to display the architecture and the kernel number and build when a text login screen is encountered, such as running a production server in multi-user textual mode. At the beginning of each session, the \r and \m will show the kernel number and the processor type.
Now we know how to find the version number a multitude of different ways. These can be used by themselves, or in a script to pass the version information on to a different program. No matter what the reason, not knowing the correct version and architecture can make upgrades and maintenance a problem for anyone. Fortunately, as we have shown, finding this information is easy.