This howto will give you quick ways to determine the system you’re using, authentic Centos, or a data center clone.

Explanation of requirements

  1. Access to a system you suspect has authentic Centos installed
  2. A desire to face the truth

Doing the Work

Basic description of what will be done and what is expected.

  1. Make sure redhat-lsb and its dependencies are installed
  2. yum install redhat-lsb

  3. A quick command sequence to determine if you’re using authentic Centos, anyone with a normal account on the system should be able to run these commands without trouble or special access:
  4. lsb_release -a; uname -a; yum repolist all; ls -alsh /etc/yum.repos.d; cat /etc/redhat-release

  5. Your output should look nearly identical to this with, perhaps, a few minor differences:
  6. If your command output does not look anything like the above, if you are missing any of the above output, or you know for a fact you have a custom kernel, cPanel or some other control panel installed YOU ARE NOT RUNNING AUTHENTIC CENTOS no matter what your hosting company or data center says to you. Therefore, you cannot get official support for this for obvious reasons. No matter how sound you think your argument is, if you meet one of the above requirements official help via or the IRC channel is nullified:
  7. Q: How did this happen?
    A: You were lied to or misled by the service provider or you did not correctly check your facts before buying.

    Q: What can I do, I need to fix this problem ASAP?!
    A: Call or email your provider for their support options or reinstall your system with a known-good copy of Centos from any official Centos mirror.

    Q: It’s close enough, why can’t I get some help?
    A: Too many unknown changes have been made to the system. It’s impossible to tell what has been altered and to what extent. Therefore, it is not responsible to try and offer advice on something with unknown variables or possible negative ramifications to your system.


How to test

Explanation troubleshooting basics and expectations.

  1. Hosting companies or cPanel will often alter or completely replace packages available in official default Centos software repositories:
  2. Some of these packages include: php, mysql, custom kernels, custom scripts, etc.

  3. Paths or binary file names may be moved, altered or replaced entirely:
  4. Standard locations for normal system configuration files (such as: /etc/httpd/conf/httpd.conf) may be changed, binary files could have been removed, have their default paths altered, or been renamed.

    It is improbable to determine each and every such alteration to the system. Once you notice too many things out of line, it’s best to just work with the system you have with the intended tools provided by your hosting company, or if you want an official Centos release, reinstall the system locally (if you have access) or remotely using VNC or another method.

Detailed information and further confirmation:

More Information


We test this stuff on our own machines, really we do. But you may run into problems, if you do, come to #centos on

Last Modified: 9 Dec, 2015 at 05:19:35