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standard for distribution identification

Is there a standard for identifying a particular Linux distribution? I
typically use the /etc/issue file to determine what flavor of Linux is
on the system. But for security purposes, the information in this file
may be altered to hide this information.

I have noticed that some distributions use an /etc/<DISTRO_NAME>-release
file that contains similar information. For example, Redhat has an
/etc/redhat-release file. Is this a standard? I couldn't find any
specifications for it in the LSB spec.

We are currently trying to provide Bastille support in our distro
(MSC.Linux) which apparently requires an /etc/<DISTRO_NAME-release file.
Before generating an MSC.Linux-release file, we wanted to know if there
was a standard on this. If not, should there be? Perhaps a standard
should be set that ensures the existence of an /etc/release file,
removing the distro name from the file name.

Candee Sumner Hoecker
Release and Testing Manager
MSC.Linux Division
MSC.Software Corporation
2 MacArthur Place
Santa Ana, CA 92707
voice: (714)444-5053
fax: (714)784-4220

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