Get System Information Using the Terminal

Troubleshooting, upgrading, or just curious? Find out what’s in your system without opening the case. Using these Linux command line tools, you can get details about your hardware and distribution.

I’ve tested these commands in Ubuntu 7.10, but they should all work in other Linux distributions. Unless noted otherwise, all of this software is included by default with Ubuntu.

Graphics card:


– details about OpenGL, the Xserver, and your graphics card

glxinfo | grep direct

– do you have direct 3d rendering?

glxinfo | grep vendor

– graphics card vendor

lspci | grep VGA

– specific graphics card model


– a simple 3d benchmark, prints frame rate to the terminal


– supported display resolutions


lspci | grep Audio

– audio controller

aplay --list-devices

– more audio device information

Software versions:

cat /etc/issue

– current distribution and version

apt-cache showpkg packagename

– packagename’s version and dependencies

uname -r

– Linux kernel version

uname -a

– all kernel details


lspci | grep Ethernet

– Ethernet controllers


– networking interfaces, IP addresses, and more


cat /proc/cpuinfo

– all processors, clock speeds, flags, and more

cat /proc/loadavg

– processor load average for the last 1, 5, and 15 minutes


– press C key to sort processes by CPU usage


cat /proc/meminfo

– amount of RAM and swap, and how much is being used for what

free -m

– total, used, and free memory shown in MB


– press M key to sort processes by memory usage

Hard disks:

df -H

– partitions, as well as their mount-points and usage in GB

sudo fdisk -l

– all partitions, their device names, and positions on disk

USB devices:


– USB buses and attached devices

Even more:

lshal -m

– monitor for hardware changes


– all PCI devices

hwinfo --short

(install from package hwinfo) – overview of all hardware, as well as more detailed info


– another program for listing hardware

lshw -html | w3m -T text/html

– lists hardware with HTML output in the w3m web browser


– current time elapsed since last reboot, users, and load average

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