Exploring a Linux box : List hardware and Bios information from the terminal December 15, 2010Posted by Tournas Dimitrios in Linux.
Tags: Exploring a Linux box
This article will outline two command line utilities that will collect information about the architecture and infrastructure of a computer . Depending on the command line arguments provided to these utilities , the information can be very detailed . The first tool is installed by default on CentOs , while the second tool must be separately downloaded from EPEL repository .
This tool is used for dumping a computer’s DMI (some say SMBIOS) table contents in a human-readable format. This table contains a description of the system’s hardware components, as well as other useful pieces of information such as serial numbers and BIOS revision. Thanks to this table, you can retrieve this information without having to probe for the actual hardware. While this is a good point in terms of report speed and safeness, this also makes the presented information possibly unreliable.
The DMI table doesn’t only describe what the system is currently made of, it also can report the possible evolutions (such as the fastest supported CPU or the maximal amount of memory supported).
SMBIOS stands for System Management BIOS, while DMI stands for Desktop Management Interface. Both standards are tightly related and developed by the DMTF (Desktop Management Task Force).
As you run it, dmidecode will try to locate the DMI table. If it succeeds, it will then parse this table and display it . Each record has a unique identifier “handler ” and a specification number that defines different types of elements a computer can be made of . We can filter out , the information through command line arguments . These arguments can be : “type keyword” or ” type number ”
–> dmidecode –type [keyword | number ] .
You need to pass dmidecode following keywords:
Or you need to pass one of the following dmidecode numbers
|# Type||Short Description|
|10||On Board Devices|
|12||System Configuration Options|
|15||System Event Log|
|16||Physical Memory Array|
|18||32-bit Memory Error|
|19||Memory Array Mapped Address|
|20||Memory Device Mapped Address|
|21||Built-in Pointing Device|
|25||System Power Controls|
|29||Electrical Current Probe|
|30||Out-of-band Remote Access|
|31||Boot Integrity Services|
|33||64-bit Memory Error|
|35||Management Device Component|
|36||Management Device Threshold Data|
So dmidecode –type 0 is equal to dmidecode –type bios . Both commands will display information about the installed Bios . dmidecode is a very powerful utility , please read the man page for more details .
This utility extracts detailed information on the hardware configuration of the machine. It can report exact memory configuration, firmware version, main board configuration, CPU version and speed, cache configuration, bus speed, etc. on DMI-capable x86 or IA-64 systems and on some PowerPC machines.It currently supports DMI (x86 and IA-64 only), OpenFirmware device tree (PowerPC only), PCI/AGP, CPUID (x86), IDE/ATA/ATAPI, PCMCIA (only tested on x86), SCSI and USB. This tool is not a default utility on Red hat based distributions , so it must installed separately . My prefered repository for my CentOs box is EPEL , so yum install lshw , will install this utility on my box (EPEL is on my repolist ) . For more details read my previous article here .