Sign up ×
Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

is there a standard command for Linux that would provide a description of the server? (Things like model, number of cores, speed...)

share|improve this question

7 Answers 7

up vote 14 down vote accepted

Not really no (in general, how do you define "description"?), but you can pull most of that info using dmidecode.

share|improve this answer
That'll work for server make, model, etc. If he just wants the type and number of cores, $ cat /proc/cpuinfo will do just fine. – EEAA Jan 28 '10 at 16:12

Ubuntu provides lshw in ubuntu-standard, it will be on any distribution ending with "untu". Many other distributions have their own tools, a lot of it can be found in /proc. You can find the man page for lshw here

share|improve this answer

dmesg shows load of your hardware too.

share|improve this answer
If your machine has been up for a while dmesg may no longer have the boot messages. If that's a case look for a /var/log/dmesg.boot file which will have the boot messages. – voretaq7 Jan 28 '10 at 16:21
cat /proc/cpuinfo = CPU information
lspci = Shows PCI card Hardware name
uname -a = Shows kernel version, architecture & build date/host
cat /proc/meminfo = memory (wired + vm) info

These have worked on every linux system i've seen. lspci is part of the pciutils package, and relies on a database of PCI id's. The stuff in /proc would only be the pci id's)

share|improve this answer

Try these:

# uname -a

# dmidecode

# vpddecode
share|improve this answer

"dmidecode" is present in all linux distribution and usually enough, to find most relevant parts together with serialnumbers.

The standard tool in Debian and Suse however is "hwinfo". It is a very comprehensive DeviceInfo-tool, and I wish (based on habbits) it would be standard accross all distributions.

For a short Overview you type

hwinfo --short 

You can combine --short with specific devices like --cpu and --disk.

hwinfo --short --cpu --disk

For everything you simply type


Or specific to a devicetype:

hwinfo --netcard

you get a complete list of features with

hwinfo --help

In addition "smartctl --all" shows special informations about harddrives, not shown in any other tool.

share|improve this answer

Puppet facter from PuppetLabs provides an interface to identify hardware on a system. facter can work without Puppet itself, can be extended to gather your own facts, and runs on many Operating Systems.

I'm using facter, along with Puppet and The Foreman as a Puppet ENC to keep track of hardware. Facter provides a frontend to disparate tools like dmidecode, cat /proc/cpuinfo, MAC=ifconfig en0 |grep ether |cut -f2 -d" ", and then information is all presented in a neat, orderly format. I've used it on RHEL, Ubuntu, Mac OS X, FreeBSD & Solaris-- gathering this information on my own was maddening. Puppet facter does much of the work for you.

share|improve this answer
this is not a standard Linux command – Michael Martinez Jan 22 at 21:59
GNU/Linux doesn't provide a single, unified "standard command" to describe a server. facter is one of the most commonly used alternatives, however. – Stefan Lasiewski Jan 23 at 0:13
dmidecode comes close, and it is included in all of the distributions – Michael Martinez Jan 23 at 0:15

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.