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5.2.31. /proc/version

This file specifies the version of the Linux kernel and gcc in use, as well as the version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux installed on the system:
Linux version 2.6.8-1.523 ( (gcc version 3.4.1 20040714 \  (Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.4.1-7)) #1 Mon Aug 16 13:27:03 EDT 2004
This information is used for a variety of purposes, including the version data presented when a user logs in.