Lance Pollard Lance Pollard - 5 months ago 20
Linux Question

How to distinguish between different operating system distros in node.js?

In node you have access to

, which give you one of 5 values:


But how do you print out the specific distro, such as one of these?

'SUSE Linux'
dozens/hundreds more

If there is no standard approach, is there any current preferred solution out there? Mainly this would be useful for being able to tell the difference (programmatically) between ubuntu and some of the other popular EC2 image oses.


To summarize all the the responses: There is no easy way to determine the current Linux distribution.

However here are a few thing you could start with.

  • uname -v usually gives you a long string with some informations. (E.g.: #66-Ubuntu SMP Thu Apr 25 03:27:11 UTC 2013)
  • Debian /etc/debian_version, but this is set in Ubuntu, too!
  • Ubuntu: /etc/lsb-release and /etc/os-release
  • SuSe: /etc/SuSE-release
  • Many distros also write to /etc/issue

If you have a list of possible distributions that could happen, you should be able to get that information somehow. If you want a generic approach I'll guess there will be no absolute answer.