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 Post subject: Hardware information software
PostPosted: Sun May 23, 2010 11:38 am 
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Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 8:56 am
Posts: 2132
Class: Tutorial: Software for accessing / providing system info
Difficulty: Easy: Installation and usage of software
Time: A few minutes for each app
Desirability: Assists in accessing and providing system info without the prerequisite of various command line interface tools


This tutorial describes the installation of two applications, one for the Command Line Interface (CLI), and the other for the Graphical User Interface (GUI), which are helpful for quickly accessing hardware information from a computer.

The CLI application is called inxi, whose homepage is here.

The GUI application is called hardinfo, whose homepage is here.


Inxi is available on the standard repositiories and has the package name "inxi". It may be installed via Software Manager by searching for inxi (optional: more advanced users may wish to use apt via the CLI for installation).

Invoking inxi is straightforward, simply type "inxi" in LXTerminal. This returns a default set of information, namely CPU, kernel, uptime, memory, disk space, number of processes running, and the version of Inxi in use.

For a full set of options, enter "inxi -h". This returns a full set of options which, when invoked, will return more or less specialised and verbose information on specified subsystems, according to a given color scheme. For example,

inxi -v4 -c6

Will return general system information, at verbosity level 4, with red headings.

inxi -dDc 6

Returns general system information, at default verbosity (i.e. level 1), but with full information for the hard drive (i.e. not just the model), with red headings.

Inxi is intended for and is particular useful in support discussions over irc, because it can be invoked using the irc /exec command during a chat. In XChat, typing

/exec -o inxi -G

Will return graphics subsystem information to the room. Exercise some care with this - invoking inxi at high verbosity might be considered spamming.


Hardinfo provides a GUI interface to various system information reports and benchmarks. It is available on the standard repositories under package name "hardinfo" and may be installed using the Software Manager.

Its launcher appears under the System Tools submenu as "Sytem Profiler and Benchmark". Its GUI takes an "Xtree approach" to presenting system information, with categories of information organised in the left panel and detailed information presented on the right.

For those interested in running performance tests on their system, benchmarks are available at the bottom of the left hand panel. There are four CPU and two FPU benchmarks to choose from. Note that, being benchmarks, these tests will cause some stress to the system while they run. If running them ensure that as few other applications as possible are running at the same time (as these will also skew the results), and be sure that hardware is in good condition before running them, particularly cooling systems. It is probably best to leave these alone, on a "need to know" basis (i.e., the average user probably doesn't).

General usage and explanation of Hardinfo should be fairly self-explanatory. Happy exploring, diagnosing and reporting!



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