How to find version of reallu old Debian machine?

H.S. hs.samix at
Sun Mar 22 02:51:00 UTC 2009

stan wrote:
> On Sat, Mar 21, 2009 at 08:00:41PM +0200, Dotan Cohen wrote:
>> 2009/3/21 stan <stanb at>:
>>> I've got a really old version of Debian running on an internal amchine. As
>>> a matter offact the kerrnel was last compiled in 2003!
>>> I want to try to find a pacjage (.deb) to install on this machine, and I
>>> need to know the version of Debian on this machine to start googling.
>>> How do I determine this?
>> $ cat /etc/issue
> Tried that
> Debian GNU/\s testing/unstable \n \l

If this is what it shows, then your system appears to be a mix of
Testing and Unstable. In case you are not aware, these are continuously
developed version of Debian (in addition to Stable).

> This system is too old for that :-(

List the contents of /etc/apt/souces.list. It will list which repos it
will check.

There are some very fine points involved in updating your system of
installing new stuff if it is Testing/Unstable (as opposed to a named
version). But the best I can do is direct you to Debian User mailing
list. You will find some of the most knowledgeable, thorough and helpful
people there.

Good luck.


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