How To: Show Disk Information With hwinfo

Today we’re going to be having some fun with hwinfo, available everywhere and used (in this case) to show disk information with hwinfo. This isn’t going to be the most complicated of articles, so it’s safe to assume you can follow along – even if you’re a beginner. You just need to follow the directions.

The tool we’ll be using to show disk information will be hwinfo. This probably isn’t installed by default, but is a very useful tool. We’ll just explore one aspect of hwinfo but there’s a lot more to the application. There may be other articles on this hwinfo application.

Anyhow, if you’d already installed hwinfo and checked the man page, you’d learn that the application defines itself accurately, specifically as:

hwinfo – probe for hardware

That’s a pretty good description and might also be a bit of a clue about hwinfo’s features and goals. In this case, we’re simply examining one particular feature and that is how to show disk information with hwinfo.

I suppose that it’s a bit archaic calling it ‘disks’, but there are plenty of people with spinning platters. It could also be ‘drives’, to ensure we also cover solid-state drives. But, for this article, we’ll use the words interchangeably. After all, you know what I mean.

The hwinfo application is a great application, with a ton of options. It’d be far too much to cover in a single article. There’s enough fodder here for multiple applications, which is nice.

Install hwinfo:

As hwinfo is a terminal-based application, you’re going to need a terminal. You could trivially install this via a GUI application, but I needn’t explain that. I will show you how to install hwinfo with the terminal. It’s available for most distros by default. Just press CTRL + ALT + T to open your terminal, or open it manually from your application menu.

Once you have your terminal open, you’re ready to install hwinfo. You can pick from the following, as it’s a fairly universal application. Try one of the following to do so:






See? You’ll find that hwinfo is an option in pretty much all the default reports. You can get a head start, and learn a lot, by checking the man page (with man hwinfo) if you’d like.

Show Disk Information With hwinfo:

Don’t close your terminal after installing hwinfo. You’re still going to need an open terminal to use hwinfo to show disk information. Fortunately, the commands are a bit unusual but not taxing. As we’re just covering how to show disk information, that will make it easier.

NOTE: To get complete information, you will need elevated permissions. In our case, we’ll be using sudo. If your distro doesn’t support sudo, you’ll need to gain elevated permissions in the manner your distro has designed.

So, with your still open terminal, you can try the first command, which is simply:

That will spit out a lot of information about the various disks you have in your system. It’s a lot of information, perhaps more than you need. If you want to show a nice summary, you’d want this command:

If you want to see a nice summary of block devices, you can just use the following command to show said block devices:

Most folks are either going to want the full information for troubleshooting or one of the latter two choices for basic information. But, you can use any of them that you want to show disk information. It’s a pretty easy process and hwinfo is a very useful application. Perhaps we’ll explore its uses soon.


Well, today we have had a “Nor’easter” and the remains of Hurricane Lee. I was expecting it to be much more mild, but we have trees down and power outages all over the place. In fact, one outage has started a fire. 

However, that didn’t stop me! Nope! I have still not missed a single publication date. I’ve published an article every other day for a long time. So far, so good.

This time around, you got an article about how you can show disk information with hwinfo. That seemed like a fine article to write. It’s not all that long, nor is it all that complicated. If you follow the directions, you should be all set.

As such, I assume a beginner will be able to follow along and able to learn something in the process. I sometimes get feedback about using the terminal in so many articles, but it is a fairly universal tool. There’s no reason to be afraid of the terminal. Instead, embrace it and learn to use it. Once you do, you’ll understand why I write about it so frequently.

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Author: KGIII

Retired mathematician, residing in the mountains of Maine. I may be old and wise, but I am not infallible. Please point out any errors. And, as always, thanks again for reading.

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