Type in uname -a and press Enter to verify that the operating system installed on the server is what you requested (Linux Fedora 9 in the following example). This command displays information about the machine and operating system it runs on.

Linux commands typically have a command name following by one or more parameters. The parameters usually follow a single character preceded by a hyphen or a double hyphen. Most commands support the parameter --help to display a concise description of all available options.

At first glance, these commands may look cryptic, but they are a part of a huge repertoire of Linux commands that can do everything from a simple query to a very complex function to offer complete control and support the administration of your server.

Command lines executed in a non-GUI (Graphical User Interface) are adavantageous in the server environment, since they require less processor time and can be put together in a text file by simple scripts to automate most if not all aspects of your server operation.

[brucelee@ ~]$ uname -a
Linux ip.myserver.net 2.6.25-14.fc9.i686 #1 SMP Thu May 1 06:28:41 EDT 2008 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux

If you do not understand the meanings of the returned information, type uname --help to get a brief list of description as following.

[brucelee@ ~]$ uname --help
Usage: uname [OPTION]...
Print certain system information. With no OPTION, same as -s.

-a, --all print all information, in the following order,
except omit -p and -i if unknown:
-s, --kernel-name print the kernel name
-n, --nodename print the network node hostname
-r, --kernel-release print the kernel release
-v, --kernel-version print the kernel version
-m, --machine print the machine hardware name
-p, --processor print the processor type or "unknown"
-i, --hardware-platform print the hardware platform or "unknown"
-o, --operating-system print the operating system
--help display this help and exit
--version output version information and exit

As you may expect, uname -r displays the Linux kernel release.

[brucelee@ ~]$ uname -r

Type uname -p or uname --processor yields identical result which indicates an Intel processor. The option -i shows whether a 32-bit or 64-bit version of the operating system is used.

[brucelee@ ~]$ uname -p
[brucelee@ ~]$ uname --processor