Fedora 17 added support for /etc/os-release. Here is the contents of that file: # cat /etc/os-release 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″ A number of fields are specified, some mandatory, some optional. CPE_NAME is a stylized name for the operating system, following the proposed Common Platform Enumeration specification. This field is optional. This file is part of the generic-release-17-1.noarch package.