hardinfo Has Been Rebooted As hardinfo2

If you’ve used hardinfo in the past, it may interest you to know that hardinfo has been rebooted as hardinfo2. This is just a quick ‘news’ article and won’t take up much of your time. It’s worth reading, however!

So, I wrote this some time ago:

Graphically Examine Hardware Info With HardInfo

I assume that’s how user ‘hwspeedy’ found this site and they sent me an email letting me know that hardinfo (no caps, I guess) has been rebooted as hardinfo2. That piqued my interest.

hardinfo2:

I looked and the project appears to have a dozen or so people behind it. That many people is a good start, which made me optimistic You can view the hardinfo2 project page here at the following link:

hardinfo Home Page

The original, hardinfo, hadn’t had any recent updates. These folks rebooted it. Their goal is to get hardinfo2 into all the distros and they’re 60% of the way there. I’m impressed enough to go ahead and write about it here.

The two major changes are the theme aspect, which I found silly and it made the text impossible to read on this system. Fortunately, you can turn it off. The second major change is the ability to upload your benchmarks. You can see how your system compares to others.

They have releases for pretty much every major version of Linux. See here:

Get hardinfo For Your System

I had hardinfo installed and hardinfo2 didn’t want to install. So, I purged hardinfo from my system with the following command:

I was then able to install hardinfo2. I did so with gdebi.

With the new version installed, I was quickly able to click on View > Themes > Disable Theme. That made it so that I could make out what was going on. Otherwise, it looked like this on a Linux Mint system:

Themes don't work well here...
None of the other themes fared better than this one did. You can disable them entirely.

This is just my refurbished PC that runs Linux Mint, so it’s nothing special. Even if it was, you wouldn’t know until you disabled themes.

Here it is with the themes disabled:

It's easy to disable themes in hardinfo2.
That’s much easier for these old eyes to make out. I’m pretty sure the themes don’t work well.

I went through the list and even did the benchmark thing. Things mostly seem to work. Some of the benchmarks didn’t show my level in the results, but that’s possibly just a teething issue.

This is useful if you need support – just click on Generate Report. You can generate a report to share with the forums when asking for support.

This is also useful for bragging rights – just click on Synchronize. You can see how you rank, and share it, against other users. As they’re now modern results, you probably won’t be dominating all the benchmarks as you did with the older hardinfo.

I have high hopes for these new developers. After I saw their email, I figured I’d share that information with you. I ignore most of that stuff but this is an application that I’ve used time and time again. It’s also an application that I’ve recommended. Seeing some people pick up and run with the task makes me happy. I wish them the best of luck.

I will point out that the sync button uploads a bunch of information. You can pick and choose what you upload; nothing nefarious is going on there. It’s simply a system-gathering (and benchmarking) tool and nothing more.

Closure:

Well, there’s not much more to cover. It still does the basic tasks as listed in the first article, it’s just now got some new features and is now being actively developed. It’s good to see some of the old tools being used and it’s good to see people acting when they see a lapse in the system. Without them, we’d not have much of an operating system.

So, thanks!

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Count The Number Of Running Processes Per User

This won’t be as complicated as it seems because we’re just going to cover how to count the number of running processes per user. This is a fairly basic task that requires fairly basic tools. If you want to count the number of running processes per user, read on! It’s quite simple…

Your Linux system requires many running processes. A running process is an application, though some applications can have multiple running processes. The Linux kernel manages processes and a full desktop system will require hundreds of processes to be complete.

Processes are on a per-user basis. As explained before, Linux is a true multi-user operating system. Each user will have their processes and all processes will be owned by a user. It’s a pretty basic concept once you get your head around it.

You won’t need to install anything for this article. We will use some basic tools to show you how to count the number of running processes per user. This isn’t an advanced operation and you’ll almost certainly have the correct tools installed.

What tools will you need for this article?

ps:

The first tool you’re going to use is the ‘ps’ application. Don’t worry, the application is installed by default. You can confirm this with this command:

Additionally, you can check the man page with this command:

If you do that, you’ll see that this is the correct tool for listing the running processes in your Linux system. It’s described like so:

ps – report a snapshot of the current processes.

See? That’d be the correct tool for listing the currently running processes.

We’ll also use…

wc:

This too will not require any additional software. It’s a near-certainty that the wc command is included in your Linux operating system by default. You can confirm that wc exists with this command:

When it comes to counting things, the wc command is the go-to command. You can tell this by checking the man page with this command:

As you’ll see, the wc command is described like so:

wc – print newline, word, and byte counts for each file

So, wc is the correct tool. We’ll use the -l flag (count lines) to go along with the wc command, meaning this should be something you can figure out already without me needing to write the rest of the article! Linux isn’t all that difficult to work with and the terminal doesn’t have to be a complicated affair.

Count The Number Of Running Processes Per User:

Both the ps and wc commands are terminal-based commands. That means you’ll need an open terminal to count the number of running processes per user. You can usually open a terminal by pressing CTRL + ALT + T. If that doesn’t work, open one from the application menu.

With your terminal open, you can show the number of running processes with the following command:

That’s the first part of this exercise. 

Next, we’ll use a pipe. We’ll pipe the output from that command to the wc command and tell the wc command to count the lines. That’s done like this:

That will give you a count of all the running processes which is nice but not the goal of this article. This article is meant to show you how to count the number of running processes per user.

So then, let’s show you how to show the processes owned by a user…

For example, I’d find processes owned by me with this command:

Now, to count the number of running processes per user you just go ahead and pipe it to the wc command used above, like so:

Again, an example:

That command should show you all the running processes that are owned by root. It’s a pretty easy set of commands to figure out and I’m sure you can figure it out from here…

Closure:

Well, we set out to learn how to count the number of running processes per user. I’d like to think we accomplished that goal. You never know when you’ll want to see the processes owned by a user, but it could be useful when debugging things – like finding out what’s eating up your resources.

This is one of those commands that are pretty obvious once you know about it. They’re two simple commands that combine to create a pretty good result. Linux is like that. You don’t always need to know some esoteric commands. You can often combine some basic commands to get the output you’re after. You can achieve much with just a few basic commands and it’s good to get more comfortable doing so.

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Short: Show The Groups You Belong To

Today’s article, as was indicated in the title, is a short article where we learn how to show the groups you belong to. It’s just a simple command, so we’ll toss in some extra knowledge. But, this is just a short article. You won’t have much to do in this article.

The latest article explained groups and can be read by clicking this link:

List All The Groups In Linux

The last article explained how to list all the available groups in Linux. This one will explain all the groups your user account belongs to. If you want to know the groups you belong to, it’s simple enough.

If you didn’t read the article, Linux is a multi-user operating system. There are also groups. A user can belong to multiple groups and have permissions matching those groups. The example I gave in the previous article was the sudoers group. You (probably) belong to that group, giving you access to the sudo command. That is how you have elevated permissions for your account, which is quite different than using the root account.

Even if you don’t know this, you’re almost certainly a member of multiple groups. In the previous article, we learned how to show those groups and today we’ll learn how to show the groups you belong to.

Show The Groups You Belong To:

If you want to show the groups you belong to, you’ll need to have an open terminal. Just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open. Otherwise, open a terminal from your application menu.

With your terminal open, you can show the groups you belong to with this command:

Your output will be different but here’s an example:

This also works with other users. Here’s the syntax:

That will show the groups that the user belongs to. It’s a pretty simple thing to learn and a pretty handy thing to learn. It’s so simple and easy that this is an intentionally short article.

Closure:

There you have it… It’s a short article but showing the groups you belong to isn’t a complicated affair. This is something anyone can do and there’s no reason to make the article longer than it already is. While I could make it longer, it’d be wasting my time and your time. It’s just that easy.

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List All The Groups In Linux

This is going to be a simple enough article where we list all the groups in Linux – specifically your Linux. (Your list of groups may not be the same as my list of groups, of course.) This isn’t complicated but might be important to some of you, so we might as well write about it.

I’ve often mentioned that Linux is a true multi-user operating system. That is, you have many users, each with assigned tasks and permissions. You have users for everything from root to printing.

Well, along those same lines, Linux also uses groups. You can not only set permissions on a per-user basis, you can set permissions on a per-group basis. Any member belonging to that group will have the same permissions as that group.

A good example is ‘sudo‘. That’s a group you likely belong to. Because you belong to the sudo group you have access to the sudo command. This lets you have elevated permissions to perform various operations on your system. Make sense?

We’ll be using a new tool for this…

getent:

The getent command is used to read various databases. This is fine because ‘groups’ is one of the databases that getent can read. You won’t need to install anything to run this command.

You can check the man page with this command:

From there, you’ll see that getent is described like so:

getent – get entries from Name Service Switch libraries

So, it’s a database reading tool more than anything else.

If you’d like an easier way, we’ll do the same with the cat command.

cat:

I really shouldn’t have to describe the cat command. We’ve used it plenty of times. It takes the contents of a file and spits them out to your terminal (standard output). It’s an oft-used tool in the Linux world. Once again, you won’t have to install anything.

You can check the man page with this command:

At that point, you’ll see that the cat command is described like this:

cat – concatenate files and print on the standard output

See? It’s the correct tool for the job. We want to take the contents of a file and read it in the terminal. The cat command is perfect for that.

I’ll show you how to list all the groups in Linux with both commands. You can pick your favorite and just use that command. Either command will work just fine for this job.

List All The Groups In Linux:

If it wasn’t obvious from the above, this is yet another task for the terminal. If you don’t have an open terminal, you can probably open one by pressing CTRL + ALT + T. If that doesn’t work, find the terminal in your application menu and click it.

With your terminal open, run the following command:

While not of much use, here’s an example output:

You can get the same output with the cat command. That might be easier to remember for newer users. After all, you should be familiar with the cat command. That command is simple enough.

That will give you the same results as the ‘getent’ command above. Obviously, the group name is the first column.

I’m not sure where I learned this, but you can just list the first field and get a list of groups without any additional information. Just use this command:

That’s not nearly as useful as it could be, but I figured I’d share.

Closure:

Well, if you wanted to list all the groups in Linux, you now know how to do so. If you didn’t know about groups, you now know that you have groups and how to list them. So, you might as well add that to your notes and keep it in mind. (The groups subject may appear in a future article!)

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Legitimate Reasons To Not Use Linux

Today’s article is going to be something my regular readers wouldn’t expect as we discuss legitimate reasons to not use Linux. Like it or not, people have reasons not to use Linux. I’ll cover some of them that I think are more legitimate than other reasons.

I think I’ll link to these first:

Top 10 Reasons Why I Use Linux
Why I Use Linux
What it’s Like To Beta-test Linux, Specifically Lubuntu

I share those three links because I think it should be obvious that I’m a Linux fanboy. I love and use Linux because I think it’s the best operating system for me. 

At the same time, I realize that Linux may not be your choice. I think there are some legitimate reasons to not use Linux. There are other reasons with less legitimacy (that is reasons based on fallacies) and we’ll avoid those in this article. Instead, we’ll cover reasons with legitimacy.

Legitimate Reasons To Not Use Linux:

I’ll cover the legitimate reasons to not use Linux that I can think of. After you read them, you can leave a comment agreeing with them or disagreeing with them. You can also add your reasons. If those reasons are any good (and I have both time and motivation) I’ll add them to the article. So, if you’re going to comment on an article, let this be one you feel especially welcome to do so.

#1. You rely on software that will not work with Linux.

This one is pretty basic. There’s software that will not work with Linux. Yes, it might work in Wine, but it may not work in Linux at all. This is the cold hard truth and if you need that software then you’re not going to be interested in moving to Linux.

#2. You’re heavily invested in Microsoft.

Let’s say that you use MSFT for everything, from office to desktop. Sure, you could switch. Linux has equivalents to almost everything MSFT offers. But, you pay for your Office365 and similar, you might use their gaming hardware, etc…

While you can switch, it may be harder than it would be for those people who are more software-agnostic. You simply don’t want to put in that effort. You simply don’t see a need to put in that effort.

This applies to Apple users as well. If you’re heavily invested in the Apple ecosystem, you may not want to switch to Linux. It could also apply to BSD users, Unix users, etc…

#3. You play modern games.

Yes, many games are available on Linux. These days, we can install Steam and play thousands of games on Linux. However, you’ll find that quite a few games will simply not work with Linux. You’ll find that they won’t work with Wine. That’s just the sad case of affairs.

Perhaps you could get a console that you’re happy with and switch to Linux while not always playing the latest and greatest games? More and more games are being developed with Linux compatibility so this may change in time.

#4. You’re happy with Windows.

This one is similar to those who are invested in Windows. However, those people who are invested heavily in the MSFT ecosystem may not be happy, they’re just entrenched. This is for those folk who are just plain happy with Linux. They know the differences. They understand reality. Linux just isn’t something they’re interested in because they’re happy with Linux.

#5. You’re learning disabled.

I am not saying that the learning disabled can’t learn how to use Linux. However, a person may have invested enough time learning to use Windows and may not want to invest time and effort learning a new operating system.

Think of someone who is elderly and has learned to navigate the Windows environment. Maybe they have a little cognitive problem and they no longer retain things as well as they once did. Sure, they could learn to use Linux but they may have better things to do with their time.

Speaking of time…

#6. You lack the time to learn Linux.

Let’s face it, many people are now working two jobs just to pay the rent and have enough to eat. Maybe they don’t work extra jobs but have hobbies that take up their time. Sure, we have computer hobbies but they may have hobbies that don’t involve technology. There are any number of reasons why you simply don’t have time to learn to use Linux.

#7. You’re just not interested in learning to use Linux.

You’ve already learned enough about Linux. You know about all the various choices. You know how easy it can be to get into Linux but you just don’t care. That’s okay! It’s perfectly okay to not be interested in learning to use Linux. If you’re happy with proprietary software, that’s your choice. This entry is for the person who is aware of Linux, the ease of Linux, and just doesn’t care to learn.

#8. You have hardware that will not work on Linux.

It’s possible that you have hardware that simply will not work on Linux. No amount of goodwill and happy thoughts is going to change this. The hardware vendor doesn’t support Linux and has no plans to support Linux in the future. While that’s unfortunate, if you need that hardware to do your computational tasks then it’s perfectly okay to not use Linux.

This can also be true with ‘bleeding-edge’ hardware. If you’re interested in using (for example) the latest and greatest graphics card, Linux may not offer any support. It could be a while before you get even basic support for that hardware. The devs need to figure out how to make it work with Linux and that takes time.

#9. You do not own the hardware.

If you share the hardware with other users, they may not appreciate it if you install Linux. They may not be interested in that. Yes, you could use virtual machines and live instances run from an external drive, but many people don’t find those experiences satisfactory.

This is especially true if you’re still a kid. Your parents aren’t going to be all that happy if they go to use the computer only to find out that you’ve installed a completely different operating system. Instead, look for a second device that you can call your own. Until then, it’s okay to give Linux a pass.

#10. <Insert Your Reasons To Not Use Linux Here>

What did I forget? How many other reasons can you think of? I tried to cover as many reasons to not use Linux as I could think of. I’m sure there are other reasons, so now’s a fine time to add them as a comment.

Closure:

So, I figured I’d write a different article. This time, I wrote about legitimate reasons to not use Linux. Frankly, there are legitimate reasons why a person may decide to not use Linux. I suspect many people could use Linux who do not currently use Linux, but there are legitimate reasons why they may choose not to.

So long as they’re making an informed and honest decision, I think that’s just fine. I’m perfectly okay with the fact that other people don’t use Linux. I’ve never lost a minute’s worth of sleep over the fact that people use software that I don’t like. I don’t even invest the time to argue with them. I just hope that they’re making their choices from an informed position and that they know the reality and benefits of using Linux.

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