I am new to linux and I got a new linux server that has oracle software installed in it and when I type
Enterprise Linux Enterprise Linux Server release 5.8 (Carthage)
Oracle Linux Server release 5.8
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 5.8 (Tikanga)
Linux version 2.6.32-300.11.1.el5uek (firstname.lastname@example.org) (gcc version 4.1.2 20080704 (Red Hat 4.1.2-50)) #1 SMP Wed Mar 7 09:55:50 EST 2012
My first question why do I see different linux releases when I type /etc/*-release and what is the difference between version and release?
Your system is OEL 5.8 (Oracle Enterprise Linux), a Linux distribution based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), repackaged and freely distributed by Oracle.
The reason you see different Linux release is:
Oracle Corporation distributes Oracle Linux with two kernels:
(Taken from WIKIPEDIA)
One is the Linux kernel version, the other is the Linux distribution version. The running kernel can be seen using the uname command or browsing /proc/version. The Linux distribution is shown in the /etc/release files.
The Linux kernel version and Linux distribution are not necessarily connected to each other and you may use the same Linux kernel also with a newer or previous Linux release distribution. For instance, the same versions of the Oracle UEK kernel are available for Oracle Linux 5 and 6. This way it is often not absolutely required to upgrade the system to take advantage of newer Linux kernel enhancements.
Please do not try to parse the text in the /etc/*-release files to determine the version. On an RPM-based system, the correct way to decide this is to ask RPM itself:
# rpm -qf /etc/*-release
If you are concerned with the exact kernel information, either:
$ uname -a
Linux p6813w.darkzone.un 3.11.1-200.fc19.x86_64 #1 SMP Sat Sep 14 15:04:51 UTC 2013 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
$ rpm -qf /lib/modules/*