Linux “Hardinfo” Hardware Information Utility

At my TWUUG meeting last night, one of our members introduced us to the Hardinfo hardware and benchmarking information utility for Linux and Unix. Hardinfo is free and open source.

Hardinfo Interface

Hardinfo is not new, but most of us had not heard of it. It is not prepackaged with most distributions; you have to download it and install it, which is no big deal, except you have to know about it first.

The hardware information that Hardinfo displays is available through other means. Both KDE and Gnome come with graphical “information center” utilities. For example, here’s the KDE KInfoCenter application (click for a larger image):

KInfoCenter

In addition, there are a number of command line utilities for probing hardware. Here is a portion of the output of the lsusb (list usb) command:

ls usb command output

Hardinfo, though, collects all this information into one handy spot.under three headings:

  • Computer
  • Devices
  • Benchmarks

Each of these categories can be expanded or collapsed. (Note: The screen shots below may look different because they were taken from three different computers: a netbook, a laptop, and a desktop. )

Highlighting a subcategory on the left populates the right panel with data (click for a larger image):

Hardinfo Summary Display

If it is applicable, highlighting in item in the right pane displays additional information. For example, in the “memory” routine, highlighting a specific item displays a dynamic graph of the usage of the selected type of memory:

Hardinfo memory detail

If you select a benchmark test, Hardinfo may take a few seconds to perform the test. In the results, it compares the test machine with an Intel Celeron and a Power PC.

Just for grins and giggles, here is the Fibronacci benchmark test for the three computers I ran Hardinfo on.

Fibronacci Comparison Test

Hardinfo will also generate reports. Clicking the “Generate Report” item on the menu bar displays a dialogue in which you can check which items you wish to include.

Hardinfo report dialogue

If you include benchmark test(s), Hardinfo will perform the tests before displaying a “save file” dialog for the report; the default format is HTML. It also will offer to open the report in your browser:

Hardinfo Report Display

I know that Hardinfo is in the Debian repos (software repositories) because I grabbed it for my netbook during the meeting; I expect that it is also in the Fedora repos. There is also a Slackbuild for Slackware v. 12.x, but I can testify that it also works on v. 13.0, or you can download and compile it from source.

(Note: there is a Windows product based in Romania with the same name. The screen shots look nothing like the Linux application and it does not appear that they are in any way related.)

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