Weather you’re a hardcore gamer looking to discover weaknesses within your gaming command center or a curious Linux power-user wanting to calculate your hashing power for password cracking or cryptocurrency mining or perhaps you’re just curious about what’s under the hood – HERE’S HOW TO DO IT!
This tutorial will cover the installation and use of the following tools:
- inxi – A full featured system information script
- lshw – A tool used to generate detailed hardware information reports
Both of these tools are very easy to use and install, and they both have the ability to generate just about everything you could ever want to know about your computer system and the hardware inside. These tools can also be used to obtain information about remote servers that you have terminal/SSH access to.
Please use responsibly 😉
inxi – A FULL FEATURED SYSTEM INFORMATION SCRIPT
INTRODUCTION TO inxi
Many solutions exist for exploring your system hardware and related specs. One of them is called “inxi” which is produced by smxi.org. The inxi script is a full-featured system information program that can tell you a lot about what’s inside your computer. It’s lightweight (only about 10k lines of code) and yet highly powerful. inxi will search all of the components and commands of your system and then return a full list of all of your hardware in a format that is easily read and understood by a not-so-tech-savy user. If you want a deep look into the full capabilities of this software package, you can read the full web-version of the inxi manual pages here. So let’s get started with inxi…
Several different Linux distributions come with inxi pre-installed (Ubuntu is not one of them). You can find out if inxi is installed on your system by running the following command in your terminal:
If inxi is installed then you will get a response similar to the following:
If inxi is already installed on your system then – GREAT – skip to the following section of this article entitled, “RUNNING inxi”. If your system doesn’t have inxi installed then – no problem – let’s install it. (Continue reading…)
Install inxi by running the following commands in your terminal:
$ sudo apt-get update $ sudo apt install inxi
If you haven’t been asked for your password in the terminal during the current session yet, then you’ll have to input your root password, after which inxi will be installed.
The most generic information readout produced by inxi can be viewed by running the simple command:
To get a fuller system hardware listing, use the same “inxi” command above with the “-Fx” parameter like this:
$ inxi -Fx
Below is a few of the primary excerpts from the inxi manual pages. You can read all of the manual information for inxi by running the following command in your terminal after inxi has been installed:
$ man inxi
You can also explore the html (online) version of the inxi manual pages at the following URL: http://smxi.org/docs/inxi-man.htm
NAME inxi - Command line system information script for console and IRC DESCRIPTION inxi is a command line system information script built for for console and IRC. It is also used for forum technical support, as a debugging tool, to quickly ascertain user system configuration and hardware. inxi shows system hardware, CPU, drivers, Xorg, Desktop, Kernel, GCC version(s), Processes, RAM usage, and a wide variety of other useful information. inxi output varies between CLI and IRC, with some default fil‐ ters and color options applied to IRC use. Script colors can be turned off if desired with -c 0, or changed using the -c color options listed in the OPTIONS section below. PRIVACY AND SECURITY In order to maintain basic privacy and security, inxi filters out automatically on IRC things like your network card mac address, WAN and LAN IP, your /home username directory in partitions, and a few other things. Because inxi is often used on forums for support, you can also trigger this filtering with the -z option (-Fz, for example). To override the IRC filter, you can use the -Z option. This can be useful to debug network connection issues online in a private chat, for example.
IMPORTANT inxi COMMANDS
NOTE: You can remove the parameter “-xxx” from any of the following commands to reduce the level of details contained in the readout. If you want to reduce the information output by a little without going all the way to the most basic readout, simply replace “-xxx” with “-xx” wherever it appears in the following commands.
Basic system overview
Detailed system overview
$ inxi -Fx
Help menu with all available commands
$ inxi -h
Weather and Location (System)
$ inxi -xxx -w
NOTE: The previous command gives the weather, local time, longitude, latitude, and elevation of the system upon which inxi is running. To obtain that same information about an external geographic area please use the “Weather and Location (External)” option.
Weather and Location (External)
$ inxi -xxx -W new+york,ny
NOTE: This command can be used to discover the weather and local geographic information for any external location that you specify. Simply replace “new+york,ny” with the name of the location that you want to search. Be sure to substitute all spaces in the location name with the “+” symbol, and only use ASCII text characters.
Sensors information and temperature
$ inxi -s
$ inxi -xxx -M
$ inxi -xxx -C
Hard Drive information
$ inxi -xxx -D
NOTE: This command also generates information about all connected SSD drives as well
Audio and sound card information
$ inxi -xxx -A
Graphics card information
$ inxi -xxx -G
Network card and state information
$ inxi -xxx -n
Network card/state and WAN information
$ inxi -xxx -i
NOTE: Be sure that you don’t ever share the readout of this command into any public chats etc as the information can be easily used to discover your actual location and gain remote access to your computer systems!
Many other powerful commands exist for the inxi script. Be sure to read the official manual pages to discover more. Overall this software is highly recommended and can generate almost any system hardware/state information that you could ever end up needing to know for your system.
lshw – A TOOL TO GENERATE HARDWARE INFORMATION REPORTS
INTRODUCTION TO lshw
The lshw tool is another powerful system information tool similar to inxi. The primary difference the lshw tool has is that it can be used as super user (“sudo”) which means, simply put, you can get a lot more information about your system than the inxi tool which does not need an escalation of privileges.
The following information is an excerpt from the lshw manual pages:
DESCRIPTION lshw is a small tool to extract detailed information on the hardware configuration of the machine. It can report exact memory configuration, firmware version, mainboard configuration, CPU version and speed, cache configuration, bus speed, etc. on DMI-capable x86 or IA-64 systems and on some PowerPC machines (PowerMac G4 is known to work). It currently supports DMI (x86 and IA-64 only), OpenFirmware device tree (PowerPC only), PCI/AGP, CPUID (x86), IDE/ATA/ATAPI, PCMCIA (only tested on x86), SCSI and USB.
If lshw isn’t installed on your system yet you can obtain it easily by running the following commands:
$ sudo apt-get update $ sudo apt-get install lshw
If you haven’t been asked for your password in the terminal during the current session yet, then you’ll have to input your root password, after which lshw will be installed.
As mentioned in the introduction to this tool, it needs to run with escalated privileges so be sure to append “sudo” to each of the commands you give to the lshw tool.
$ sudo lshw
The previous command should cause your system to undergo a brief period of calculation before outputting a full system hardware report (roughly 480 lines long!)
ADDITIONAL lshw INFORMATION
Hopefully you have found this information to be useful in your quest to discover and explore the world of Linux. Let me know your thoughts and suggestions by connecting with me via the contact information listed on my page here.