[CentOS] how to check the version of centos

Sat Apr 5 10:32:11 UTC 2008
Johnny Hughes <johnny at centos.org>

Greg Bailey wrote:
> Mail Administrator wrote:
>> Thanks guys for the quick reply
>> btw cat /etc/redhat-release gives me
>> CentOS release 5 (Final)
>> so as per the FAQ guess its uptodate
>> thnks again
>> regards
>> simon
> Interesting that this seems to deviate from upstream.  Checking an 
> updated Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 box, I get:
> # cat /etc/redhat-release
> Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5.1 (Tikanga)
> Does anyone know what upstream does with the 5.1.z updates?  Does 
> /etc/redhat-release show "5.1.z" or something?
> -Greg

OF COURSE it deviates from upstream.  We are a separate distribution

This has been covered again and again and it is in an FAQ.


Upstream is GOING to (supposedly) provide a "Z Series" (as in 5.1.1 and 
5.2.0).  However, we do not yet know exactly how that will work in 
practice until they implement it.

IF we support the "Z series" update sets separately (we have not decided 
completely if we have the "RESOURCES" to do that) then once you lock 
onto a "Z Series" you would have something different in your 

IF you DO NOT lock into a "Z Series" release then you would have 
"Release 5" ... not 5.0, 5.1, 5.2 or 5.3 ... in your /etc/release.  This 
is because that is exactly what you are doing if you do not deviate to a 
"Z Series".  Deviation (staying on the 5.1.z series, for example) would 
mean that you will stay on 5.1.1 (and then 5.1.2 and 5.1.3) while 5.2.0, 
  then 5.3.0 (and 5.2.1,5.1.2) and 5.4.0 (and 5.3.1,5.2.2,5.1.3) become 
available.  Of course, at that point, they are "End of Life"ing the 5.1 
branch .. so there will not be a 5.1.4 and you would at that point need 
to plan an upgrade to some other branch (5.5.0, 5.4.1, 5.3.2, or 5.2.3).

SO ... being on Release 5 means, you are getting normal updates, just 
like before ... not being on release 5 means you are on a "Z Series", 
if/when we support them.

This is JUST semantics ... it has nothing to do with anything except 
some text in a file that helps us to understand what release you are on.

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