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Re: What to do about /etc/debian_version

Santiago Vila writes:
> > This information could instead be stored in /etc/lsb-release. One of
> > the reasons for the creation of this file was to standardise across
> > the distributions the name and format of the file which contains this
> > type of information.
> Interesting. Is that file in /etc because of it being a static,
> non-shareable file (like /etc/debian_version), or it is also meant to
> be changed by the sysadmin? 

It'd be pretty rare that a sysadmin would want to change it - although
there are some programs around that attempt to work out what distro
they're on and refuse to install/run if its not the right one - so it
can be useful to be able to lie to them :-)

> Could you point me to the specs for that
> file? (i.e. something that tells me what should be its contents for
> Debian 2.2 and for Debian woody/sid).

Its also used by the lsb_release (package lsb-release) program. There
is a man page for it and the latest version is available from:


(version 1.3 is in unstable - I'm not sure if 1.4 has been put in yet
as it was only released a couple of days ago).

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