uname and uname -r

Segun is studying hard to become a future RHEL Sysadmin. Today, he wants to master the uname command. Please teach him the following:

1.) The history of the uname command.

2.) The primary use cases served by the uname command.

3.) The strengths and weakneses of the uname command.

4.) Several well-explained examples of using the uname and uname -r commands.

1.) History of the uname command

The uname command comes from Unix and has been around since the early days of Unix-based operating systems. It is part of the GNU Core Utilities package, which is a set of tools included in most Unix-like operating systems, such as Linux distributions. The uname command provides basic information about a system's software and hardware.

2.) Primary Use Cases

The uname command is primarily used to: a. Display system information. b. Identify the current operating system, kernel version, machine hardware name, processor type, etc. c. Assist administrators in system maintenance, troubleshooting, and in performing tasks that are specific to a system or kernel version.

3.) Strengths and Weaknesses


a. Simplicity and Speed: It is a simple and fast way to get essential information about the system. b. Portability: Available on nearly all Unix-like operating systems. c. Versatility: With different options, it can provide various pieces of information about the system.


a. Limited Information: It provides only basic information about the system and cannot display detailed system statistics or configurations. b. Not Comprehensive: For more comprehensive system information, other commands and tools may be necessary, like lscpu, lsb_release, or /proc file system exploration.

4.) Examples

Example 1: Displaying Basic System Information

$ uname

This command will print the name of the operating system of the machine.

Example 2: Displaying Kernel Release

$ uname -r

This command will print the kernel release of the machine.

Example 3: Displaying All System Information

$ uname -a

This command will print all available system information including the kernel name, nodename (hostname), kernel release, kernel version, machine hardware name, processor type, hardware platform, and operating system.

Example 4: Displaying Machine Hardware Name

$ uname -m

This command will print the machine hardware name.

Detailed Examples

uname without any option
$ uname Linux

Here, uname without any option will simply print the name of the Operating System, which is Linux.

uname -r
$ uname -r 5.8.0-53-generic

Using the -r option with uname will display the kernel release. In this case, the kernel release is 5.8.0-53-generic.

uname -a
$ uname -a Linux ubuntu 5.8.0-53-generic #60~20.04.1-Ubuntu SMP Thu May 6 09:52:46 UTC 2021 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

Using the -a option will provide detailed information about the system, including the OS name, hostname, kernel release and version, hardware name, processor type, hardware platform, and operating system.

Remember, Segun should experiment with different options and read the man page for uname to fully understand the capabilities of this command:

$ man uname

This command will display the manual page for uname, providing more information about its usage and options available.