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Linux Tip: sysinfo, Getting Detailed Technical Data on Your Linux System

Bill Malchisky  December 2 2010 02:00:00 AM
For those that know me well, or have worked with me on a project know that I am less of a fan of GUI's for administration and prefer the command line interface. It is fast, takes little bandwidth and generally provides increased capabilities over its graphical cousin that would otherwise clutter the UI. However, I also understand that they are not for everyone...particularly beginners on Linux who come from a Windows existence. That is why I like sysinfo. In short, it provides a detailed set of technical information in a nice concise layout, akin to the Windows version of similar offering.

From the sysinfo readme file, it provides the following specs

[Sysinfo] is able to recognize information about:

System (Linux distribution release, versions of GNOME, kernel, gcc and Xorg and hostname);
CPU (vendor identification, model name, frequency, level2 cache, bogomips, model numbers and flags);
Memory (total system RAM, free memory, swap space total and free, cached, active, inactive memory);
Storage (IDE interface, all IDE devices, SCSI devices);
Hardware (motherboard, graphic card, sound card, network devices);
NVIDIA graphic card: only with NVIDIA display driver installed.

Two Installation Options

1) TUI (open a terminal window [in Ubuntu], Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal) and type: sudo apt-get install sysinfo
2) GUI: open Ubuntu Software Center, under the Applications menu -> click in the search bar and type: sysinfo -> then click on Install

Image:Linux Tip: sysinfo, Getting Detailed Technical Data on Your Linux System


Installation feedback

TUI installation return text

Image:Linux Tip: sysinfo, Getting Detailed Technical Data on Your Linux System


Nice clean and simple.  If you choose the GUI method, this is what you will see during installation:

Image:Linux Tip: sysinfo, Getting Detailed Technical Data on Your Linux System


And the following return value (observe green checkmark) lets you know it is installed correctly (and is true for any Ubuntu installed application):

Image:Linux Tip: sysinfo, Getting Detailed Technical Data on Your Linux System


Launching Sysinfo

You will find a menu option under Applications -> System Tools

Here is the main Window:
Image:Linux Tip: sysinfo, Getting Detailed Technical Data on Your Linux System

Clicking on Hardware, you have see the Motherboard information, but can choose from other hardware components from the drop-down in the upper right-hand corner

Image:Linux Tip: sysinfo, Getting Detailed Technical Data on Your Linux System

I do like the memory tab's representation: makes it clear what is happening on your system. Also, you can enable near real-time updates, which can be helpful for application installation, or running additional VMs.

Image:Linux Tip: sysinfo, Getting Detailed Technical Data on Your Linux System


Here is what Windows System Information (msinfo32.exe) provides:

Image:Linux Tip: sysinfo, Getting Detailed Technical Data on Your Linux System


You will quickly notice that the Windows version offers more choices because it needs them. :) [bias]. But for most people, that is overkill and confusing. The Linux version gives one most of what they will need in a clean and uncluttered user experience. If one really needs the IRQ values, then they are an expert and already know how to get them in Linux, IMHO, or can search and find easily.

So if you think that by leaving Windows, you will be leaving behind easy access to getting information, think again. Linux provides the tools you need, and allows you to be productive, in whatever way works best for you.

Any questions, please ask. Have a great day!
Comments

1wesmorgan1  12/5/10 9:16:15 PM  Linux Tip: sysinfo, Getting Detailed Technical Data on Your Linux System

Nice app...except for choosing "System", at which point the app immediately exits. Tried as regular user and via sudo, with same results.

Ubuntu 10.10 Desktop on IBM ThinkPad T41p.

Any ideas?

2Bill Malchisky  12/6/10 7:07:42 PM  Linux Tip: sysinfo, Getting Detailed Technical Data on Your Linux System

Hi Wes... yes, in Ubuntu 10.10 there exists a regression bug, with the exact symptoms you described. The tool does work in previous versions quite well and on other distros. I wrote the blog post via version Ubuntu 10.04 LTS, so I can state confidently it works well with with the LTS flavor.

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