What’s under the hood?

HOW do I get system specs? This question stumped me for awhile when my editor wanted to know how to display the hardware on his new Ubuntu Linux desktop PC. On Windows, you can get that information via the Control Panel then System. On a Mac, you can get it by going to the Apple menu and choosing About This Mac. How do you do it in Linux?

I had never really thought about it on my Ubuntu PC at home, because I already knew what I had–exactly the same hardware I had when the computer was still running Windows XP.

The quick-and-dirty way, of course, was to open up a terminal window and type:

sudo lshw

This isn’t to difficult to remember since it stands for “list hardware”–and you run it as a super-user (sudo).
Doing this in a terminal window will give you a long list of the hardware on your PC, after you’ve typed in your administrative password.

You can make it a bit easier to read by sending it to a text file…

lshw >sudo myhardware

which will be saved on your home directory. Or, you can save it as an html file that you can open up in a browser…

sudo lshw -html >myhardware.html

There is a graphical front-end to lshw called lshw-gtk, which you can install from the Synaptic Package Manager.

This gives you the same system information in a graphical, three-panel window reminiscent of those used on the Mac. It’s easier to read than plain text on a terminal window, but I found the three-panel format difficult to follow.

An easier utility to understand is Sysinfo, which you can also install from Synaptic.

When you come to think about it, shouldn’t one of these graphical tools be automatically loaded on Ubuntu?

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