When you are in console mode, there is no 'Right click > About' to give you information about your operating system. In Linux, you can use command uname to help you about that. Uname is the short name for unix name. Just type uname in the console.
When you type uname without parameter, it will only show the name of your operating system.
It may not satisfy what you need. So you may need to use some parameters to make uname show the information you need.
Here’s the list of uname parameters :
1) Kernel name
To reveal the kernel name, you can use -s parameter.
# uname -s
The output will be same with uname without parameter.
2) Kernel release
If you need to know what kernel release you’re using, just use -r parameter
# uname -r
3) Kernel version
Beside kernel information, uname can also fetch the kernel version. Use -v parameter for this purpose
# uname -v
#1 SMP Tue Oct 22 12:57:43 EDT 2013
Parameter -n will give you the node hostname. For example, if your hostname is “dev-machine”, -n parameter will print dev-machine as the output of -n parameter
# uname -n
For RedHat and CentOS, you can also use /etc/redhat_release file :
# cat /etc/redhat_release
CentOS release 5.10 (Final)
For non-RedHat based distro, you may use /etc/issue. Here's the example :
# cat /etc/issue
Linux Mint Olivia \n \l
5) Hardware name
If you are wondering what kind of machine you’re using, you can try -m parameter. It will show you information about it.
# uname -m
i686 is indicates that your system is 32 bit operating system. While x86_64 means your system is a 64 bit system.
6) Hardware platform
Similar with hardware name, -i parameter will show you hardware platform.
# uname -i
i386 mean you are running a 32 bit system. If the output is x86_64 it’s mean that you are running 64 bis system.
7) Processor type
To see processor type, you can use -p parameter. If uname is not able to show you that information, it will show you ‘unknown’ in the output.
# uname -p
8) Operating system
Uname can also used to reveal what operating system you are running. Use -o parameter to fulfill this purpose.
# uname -o
9) All information
There is one parameter that can reveal all the information. It’s -a parameter. It will show you all information except omit -i and -p if they are unknown.
# uname -a
Linux dev-machine 2.6.18-371.1.2.el5 #1 SMP Tue Oct 22 12:57:43 EDT 2013 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux
That's the uname command in use. Please stay tuned to see more commands. Thank you.