Section: os-release (5)
The /etc/os-release and /usr/lib/os-release files contain operating system identification data.
The basic file format of os-release is a newline-separated list of environment-like shell-compatible variable assignments. It is possible to source the configuration from shell scripts, however, beyond mere variable assignments, no shell features are supported (this means variable expansion is explicitly not supported), allowing applications to read the file without implementing a shell compatible execution engine. Variable assignment values should be enclosed in double or single quotes if they include spaces, semicolons or other special characters outside of A-Z, a-z, 0-9. All strings should be in UTF-8 format, and non-printable characters should not be used. If double or single quotes or backslashes are to be used within variable assignments, they should be escaped with backslashes, following shell style. It is not supported to concatenate multiple individually quoted strings. Lines beginning with "#" shall be ignored as comments.
The file /etc/os-release takes precedence over /usr/lib/os-release. Applications should check for the former, and exclusively use its data if it exists, and only fall back to /usr/lib/os-release if it is missing. Applications should not read data from both files at the same time. /usr/lib/os-release is the recommended place to store OS release information as part of vendor trees. Frequently, /etc/os-release is simply a symlink to /usr/lib/os-release, to provide compatibility with applications only looking at /etc.
os-release contains data that is defined by the operating system vendor and should generally not be changed by the administrator.
As this file only encodes names and identifiers it should not be localized.
The /etc/os-release and /usr/lib/os-release files might be symlinks to other files, but it is important that the file is available from earliest boot on, and hence must be located on the root file system.
The following OS identifications parameters may be set using os-release:
HOME_URL=, SUPPORT_URL=, BUG_REPORT_URL=
If you are reading this file from C code or a shell script to determine the OS or a specific version of it, use the ID and VERSION_ID fields, possibly with ID_LIKE as fallback for ID. When looking for an OS identification string for presentation to the user use the PRETTY_NAME field.
Note that operating system vendors may choose not to provide version information, for example to accommodate for rolling releases. In this case, VERSION and VERSION_ID may be unset. Applications should not rely on these fields to be set.
Operating system vendors may extend the file format and introduce new fields. It is highly recommended to prefix new fields with an OS specific name in order to avoid name clashes. Applications reading this file must ignore unknown fields. Example: "DEBIAN_BTS="debbugs://bugs.debian.org/""
NAME=Fedora VERSION="17 (Beefy Miracle)" ID=fedora VERSION_ID=17 PRETTY_NAME="Fedora 17 (Beefy Miracle)" ANSI_COLOR="0;34" CPE_NAME="cpe:/o:fedoraproject:fedora:17" HOME_URL="https://fedoraproject.org/" BUG_REPORT_URL="https://bugzilla.redhat.com/"
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