Usually, we need to type terminal commands to access our Linux hardware information. However, there is a much easier way. We can use a GUI hardware manager, a kind of Speccy for Linux, and gain instant access to our Linux hardware information, without having to go through the terminal.
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We have prepared this guide on Linux Mint 17.2 and Ubuntu 15.04. It will probably work with recent earlier and future versions of those distributions, as well as with some distributions based on Ubuntu or Linux Mint.
Table of Contents
The hardcore way to find the Linux hardware information
If we need to access our Linux hardware information without installing any apps, e.g. if we don't have internet access, we can do it through the terminal. These commands will practically work for any Linux distribution, from Alpine Linux to Zorin OS.
We just open a terminal window (often with the Ctrl+Alt+T shortcut) and type one of following commands:
lshw lspci lsusb
lshw - Hardware Lister
The lshw command will show the full linux hardware information. It's best to run it as root, with sudo lshw. The result is an extended and hard to read output, which takes pages upon pages on the terminal.
For a more manageable list, we can run:
sudo lshw -short
We can also pipe the output to an HTML file, using the -html switch.
sudo lshw -html > hardware.html
This will create the hardware.html file in our /home folder. We just need to open it with a browser.
lspci - List PCI
The lspci command will show the hardware information regarding PCI buses and the connected devices.
As opposed to the lshw command, lspci can run just fine without administrative privileges. Also, the default mode is a simple list without much information.
For more verbose results, we can use the -v switch.
Using a -vv or -vvv switch will give us even more verbose views of our Linux hardware information.
We can also use the grep or the perl commands and regular expressions to get particular results.
lspci -v | grep "VGA compatible controller"
lspci doesn't support the -html switch to create an html file. But we can still pipe to a regular text file.
lspci -v > PCI.txt
lsusb - List USB
Just like lspci, lsusb will provide information about USB devices.
It also supports the -v, -vv, -vvv switches for verbose modes, although it includes significantly more information than lspci.
We can also use grep, perl, and pipe the output to a text document, just like we can do with lspci.
Is there an app like Speccy for Linux?
Working on the terminal can make anyone feel a bit like a hacker. A GUI alternative, however, has the advantage of being accessible to anyone.
We just need to install the "System Profiler and Benchmark" application with:
sudo apt-get install hardinfo -y
After the installation is done, we can just search for "hardinfo" on Dash, and open the System Profiler and Benchmark application.
On Linux Mint, we will find it at Administration -> System Profiler and Benchmark.
System Profiler has a very easy to navigate interface, not unlike Speccy for Windows.
We just select the proper category, and we will get all the information we need.
The only real disadvantage of the System Profiler and Benchmark is that we need an active internet connection to install it. That means that if we don't have internet access for any reason - e.g. if we try to troubleshoot the Ethernet adapter not working - we will have to use the lshw, lspci, or lsusb commands.
Did you find your Linux Hardware Information?
If anything on this guide didn't work as described, and you couldn't access your Linux hardware information, leave us a comment.
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