I want to install Discovery Studio Visualizer but the precompiled binary checks the system for OS version. When it finds that I am not running RHEL, the installer exits.

Is there a way to change or trick programs that call uname into displaying different info?

  • You would need to either recompile the kernel (and give it a different name) or recompile the DSV so it does not check, or see how DSV checks your OS.Run the script from here - accelrys.com/products/collaborative-science/… and contact upstream.
    – Panther
    Jul 22, 2015 at 2:48
  • Ive tried upstream contact they arent geting back to me
    – j0h
    Jul 22, 2015 at 2:52
  • 1
    Is there some reason not to run Centos then ? It is difficult to know how they are perfroming OS detection. You could edit /etc/issue perhaps?
    – Panther
    Jul 22, 2015 at 3:20
  • are you sure it checks uname? and not /etc/lsb-release?
    – Rinzwind
    Nov 16, 2015 at 9:31

2 Answers 2


You cannot customize uname's output, but you can spoof the installer by making the system run a custom script instead of the "real" /bin/uname.

First you'll need to check the exact command the installer is running to check your system's information; in this example for the sake of easiness I'll pretend that an executable ~/tmp/check is running uname -n and that the output of uname -n should be ubuntu in order for ~/tmp/check to print "Passed!".

~/tmp/check's source (this of course is not relevant, and is just to showcase what the test executable does):

#include <stdio.h>
#include <string.h>


int main(void) {
    FILE* output = popen("/bin/uname -n", "r");
    char expected[] = "ubuntu";
    char hostname[MAX_STRING_LENGTH];
    fgets(hostname, MAX_STRING_LENGTH, output);
    if(hostname[strlen(hostname) - 1] == '\n')
        hostname[strlen(hostname) - 1] = '\0';
    if(strcmp(expected, hostname) == 0) {
        return 0;
    return 1;
user@debian:~/tmp$ uname -n
user@debian:~/tmp$ ./check

It's easy to track the exact command run by the executable using strace:

user@debian:~/tmp$ strace -f ./check 2>&1 > /dev/null | grep execve
execve("./check", ["./check"], [/* 34 vars */]) = 0
[pid 13122] execve("/bin/sh", ["sh", "-c", "/bin/uname -n"], [/* 34 vars */] <unfinished ...>
[pid 13122] <... execve resumed> )      = 0
[pid 13123] execve("/bin/uname", ["/bin/uname", "-n"], [/* 34 vars */]) = 0

So to get around this one should make uname -n output ubuntu: the easiest solution would be to just move /bin/uname and to create a symbolic link /bin/uname linking to a custom script (which will ignore any argument and just output ubuntu):

cat ~/tmp/spoofer.sh:

echo ubuntu
exit 0
user@debian:~/tmp$ sudo mv /bin/uname /bin/uname1
user@debian:~/tmp$ sudo ln -s ~/tmp/spoofer.sh /bin/uname

Let's see if that worked:

user@debian:~/tmp$ uname -n
user@debian:~/tmp$ ./check

Bingo! (remember to remove /bin/uname and to move /bin/uname1 back to /bin/uname afterwards: sudo rm /bin/uname && sudo mv /bin/uname1 /bin/uname)


alias uname 'uname \!* | sed s/Ubuntu/RHEL/'

This is c-shell format alias, you might have to change it a bit based on what shell you are using.

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