I just faced an issue I thought should be easy to solve. I wanted to know which Linux distribution a bash script runs on. There exists a proposal of the FSB (Free Standards Group) to implement lsb_release which delivers all the info.Unfortunately it's not implemented by all Linux distributions so I installed various distributions on VMWare to get a clue how to write code to extract the Linux distribution. Finally I wrote a bash script and python script to extract the Linux distribution.
 
lsb_release would be the easiest way to find out the Linux distribution. According FSG there can exist two files on a Linux distribution:
 
1) /etc/lsb-release
2) /etc/distribution-release
 
Unfortunately lsb_release is not available on all distributions and the files in /etc are not following the rules. It seems all naming variations of the config file can be found with 
ls /etc/*[-_]{release,version} 

 

Finally I wrote following bash script and this python script to use all information available to derive the Linux distribution. It either uses lsb_release to find out the distro or extracts the distro name from the existing /etc/*[-_]{release,version} file by using the string starting after /etc/ and ending with - or _. Example: /etc/fedora-release exists => distro is fedora
 
The script was tested on a lot of distributions but will also work on most other distributions. Pls let me know if you run it successfully on another Linux distro and I update the following list of tested distros:
 
# opensuse             openSuSE 11.0 (no lsb_release) and 11.2 (lsb_release)
# fedora                    Fedora 12
# centos                   CentOS 5.4
# kubuntu                 Kubuntu 9.10
# debian                   Debian 5.0.3
# arch                        Arch
# slackware             Slackware 13.0.0.0.0
# mandriva               Mandriva 2009.1
# debian                   Knoppix 6.2
# linuxmint               Mint 8
 
For the most recent list of tested distributions see header comment in source code.
 
References:
Welche Distribution besitze ich (Which distribution do I have) : List of files in /etc/ directory used by various Linux distributions
lsb_release man page :  Man page of the Free Standards Group
/etc/release equivalents for sundry Linux (and other Unix) distributions : List of files in /etc/ directory used by various Linux distributions
 
 
Other implementations:
  • tisu suggested following single liner which is a codesnipet from the alsa-info.sh:
DISTRO=`grep -ihs "buntu\|SUSE\|Fedora\|PCLinuxOS\|MEPIS\|Mandriva\|Debian\|Damn\|Sabayon\|Slackware\|KNOPPIX\|Gentoo\|Zenwalk\|Mint\|Kubuntu\|FreeBSD\|Puppy\|Freespire\|Vector\|Dreamlinux\|CentOS\|Arch\|Xandros\|Elive\|SLAX\|Red\|BSD\|KANOTIX\|Nexenta\|Foresight\|GeeXboX\|Frugalware\|64\|SystemRescue\|Novell\|Solaris\|BackTrack\|KateOS\|Pardus" /etc/{issue,*release,*version}` 
  • inxi contains a function which extracts the distro
 

Add comment

Spam Kommentare sind sinnlos !
Vor der Publizierung wird jeder Beitrag auf Spam geprüft. Leider dauert es deswegen bis ein Kommentar sichtbar wird. Dafür erhält aber kein Subscriber Spam eMails.
Die eMail ist optional und nicht öffentlich sichtbar. Sie ist notwendig um eMail Benachrichtigungen zu Antworten auf Kommentare zu erhalten. Sie wird auch u.U. auch vom Seitenbetreiber genutzt um offline Kontakt aufzunehmen.

Spam comments are useless !
Any comment will be reviewed first and checked for spam. Unfortunately this delays the publishing of comments but will protect subscribers from spam.
eMail is optional and hidden and is required to get update notifications for any comments. In addition your eMail may be used by the website owner to get in contact with you offline.