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CentOS Version Command and Update CentOS to New Version

CentOS is a popular Linux Operating System for enterprise computing, web servers and Virtual Private Servers. CentOS may be given as a Linux option when configuring a new Virtual Private Server (VPS), online with a hosting company. This article provides a list of basic commands to help manage a CentOS VPS.


View the CentOS Version and Update with Shell Commands

For this article try all the commands on a test system to see them in action. See the article SSH into VPS Virtual Machine on Windows Using PuTTY. Remember to have backups of data before changing any aspect of a live running system.

In this article:

  • View CentOS version
  • Check if CentOS is 64-bit or 32-bit
  • View the Centos server Name
  • View CentOS kernel version
  • View list of available CentOS updates
  • Updating CentOS
  • Rebooting CentOS
  • Listing CentOS installed packages

In these examples root is the logged in user, in practice a different superuser will normally be used when maintaining a server. All the following commands are executed in the shell.

View CentOS Version

When CentOS boots the major version is briefly displayed on a boot screen. It is usually configured to show on the shell login with the kernel version:

CentOS 7 Booted

CentOS is based on the commercially supported Red Hat Linux, therefore, once logged in use cat /etc/redhat-release:

[root@servername ~]# cat /etc/redhat-release
CentOS Linux release 7.1.1503 (Core)

For more information use cat /etc/*release:

CentOS Release

In version 7 of CentOS the hostnamectl status command can be used to find the major version and kernel version:

CentOS Hostnamectl

Check if CentOS is 64-bit or 32-bit

Since CentOS version 7 there is only the 64-bit version officially supported (although a 32-bit version is available from the community). To check if the running CentOS is 64-bit or 32-bit use the uname command with the -p option (p for processor):

[root@servername ~]# uname -p

The 64-bit CentOS will display x86_64, and 32-bit will display i686:

[root@servername ~]# uname -p

See also the command to display the kernel version below.

Display the CentOS Server Name (Host Name)

Use hostname to display the systems name:

[root@servername ~]# hostname

See also the hostnamectl status command above.

Display the CentOS Kernel Version

Use uname -r -v to see the kernel version:

[root@servername ~]# uname -r -v
3.10.0-229.el7.x86_64 #1 SMP Fri Mar 6 11:36:42 UTC 2015

Again, see also the hostnamectl status command above.

List Available CentOS Updates

List available updates using yum, here piped (using |) to less to view one screen at a time, using the space bar. Use q to quit the listing:

[root@servername ~]# yum list updates | less

Update CentOS

Update CentOS using yum, package downloads may need to be confirmed with y:

[root@servername ~]# yum update

(Note: After confirming the update, the packages will download, extract and install. If this fails you may see messages such as Trying other mirrors, Error Downloading Packages and [Errno 256]. Use the command yum clean metadata and try yum update again. If it still reports errors use the command yum clean all and try again.)

Rebooting CentOS

Restart CentOS:

[root@servername ~]# reboot


[root@servername ~]# shutdown -r now

One logged back in use the commands above to check the updated versions:

[root@servername ~]# uname -r -v
3.10.0-693.11.1.el7.x86_64 #1 SMP Mon Dec 4 23:52:40 UTC 2017

[root@servername ~]# cat /etc/redhat-release
CentOS Linux release 7.4.1708 (Core)

List CentOS Installed Packages

List installed packages using yum, piped to less to view a page at a time, with the space bar (use q to quit):

[root@servername ~]# yum list installed|less

Further Information

For more information on CentOS see their Wiki and the CentOS web site at https://www.centos.org/

See Also

Previous related posts:


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