Check System Information With uname

In today’s article, we’re going to show you how to check system information with uname. This is a pretty handy command to have in your toolbox, and it’s really simple to use.

Once again, I’ll probably not cover every option, but only show you the commands I think you’ll find most useful. This should be both quick and easy enough for anyone to understand. Even a rank beginner should be able to follow along.

If you’ve ever asked a question on a forum, you may have been asked to show the output of the ‘uname -a‘ command. That’s a fine generic command to run, but you don’t have to output all that information. This could come in handy when you’re scripting and only need some of the information.

We’ll be using the uname command, as you might have guessed. According to the man page, the command defines itself as:

uname – print system information

That’s a pretty accurate definition and, sure enough, matches the headline and the introductory paragraph. Like I said, we’ll be collecting system information with uname. There’s not much more to it, so let’s just jump into the article.

Check System Information with uname:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

In it’s basic usage, the uname command can be run without any modifiers at all. To do so, simply type the following to get the system’s name:

The output of that will almost certainly just say ‘Linux’. Handy! 

Ah, but the uname command can do so much more. Want to know if you’re using 32 or 64 bit, the architecture? Easy enough, just use:

Would you like to use uname to check your kernel version? Try this command:

If you want to know your kernel release, that is the specific release you’re using at the moment, you need the -r flag. Try this:

Want to know the name of the network? Amazingly enough, that would require you using the -n flag. So it looks like:

Finally, as I mentioned in the intro, there’s the granddaddy of uname commands, which will output all the information you really need. Sure enough,  it’s accomplished with the -a flag:

As you can see, the flags mostly make sense for this command. Because of this, they should be easy to remember when you need to recall system information with the uname command. To see the complete manual, use the man uname command.

Closure:

Well, that’s yet another article. I hope you liked reading it as much as I enjoy typing these silly things out. It’s probably time to do a meta article soon – as I’m really itching to do so. There have been some pretty good changes. So, that’ll be a fun article to write and I may do so soon.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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Let’s Root Around In The /proc Directory

Today, we’re going to root around in the /proc directory. Why? So we can learn about our Linux system. See, there’s quite a bit of information hidden in there and I’m going to show you how to get it out of there. You’ll have to root around for it, as I’m not going to document every possible combination, but you’ll have the tools to do so.

We will be using the terminal for this, but we’ll only be using a couple of tools. The first tool we’ll use is the ‘ls’ command. We’ve used it before to sort files by time and sort files by size and even to show hidden files and folders. So, as you can guess, it’s a pretty handy command.

The other application we’ll be using is ‘cat’. We’ve used that less often, but we’ve used it before, but here’s a brief overview of the ‘cat’ command. You might want to read that. But, basically, we use the cat command to read files in the terminal. 

The ‘cat’ command is also a pretty handy command. You can try it out yourself. If we assume you’re using bash and have history enabled (the vast majority of Linux users) you can do something like:

That command should spit out the history of commands you’ve typed into the terminal. Perhaps some of ’em will have been things you learned right here on Linux-Tips! Well, maybe… I mean, people tell me they learn stuff here, though I’m never quite sure how! 😉 Anyhow…

So, this will be a fairly informal article. It should also be quick and easy. You’re welcome!

Rooting Around In The /proc Directory:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

Like I said, this is a fairly informal article. Quick and easy, right? Well, I’m going to show you everything you need to know in one command. Ready?

You’ll see a whole lot of files. What you want to do is use ‘cat’ on those files. Like, if you want to read/check your CPU information, you’d use:

Do you want to see the information the system has for your memory?

Not all the files have useful data, but some of them do. That’s why you’ve gotta root around in there. You’ve gotta learn which files contain which information – but I’ve given you a head start with two of them. You’re on a path of discovery, ’cause I’m surely not going to go through all of ’em to tell you what they do. I give you the tools, you do the work. Or something like that…

Closure:

See? Nice and easy, and very much an informal article. You can now root around in the /proc directory to get some system information. You may need elevated permissions to read some files, and some of them contain what’s pure gibberish to me. They might make more sense to you!

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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Find Your Username In Linux

Today’s article is going to be fairly brief and easy, as it just covers how to find your username in Linux. For this exercise, we’ll be using a terminal and some basic commands. It shouldn’t be too stressful or difficult. In fact, it should be just the opposite.

When you open your terminal, you’re usually greeted with some information. In that information is typically your username. However, it’s possibly that this is no longer true. You could have it display anything you wanted, plus there’s a chance you’re logged in remotely and just can’t remember which terminal window is connected to which device.

So, there are some reasons why these commands exist. I mean, you should probably know your username. That’s not the kind of thing I forget, but I am getting older. Still, the commands exist and must exist for a reason.

My motto is that they wouldn’t have provided a path if they didn’t want you to get to the destination. (That’s not really my motto.) So, if there’s a command that’ll help you find your username in Linux, you might as well know it and know how to use it.

Find Your Username In Linux:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With that terminal open, let’s try echoing the $USER variable. It’s nice and easy, and it looks like this:

You can also use who and whoami as commands:

And:

There’s also w, which shows logged in users – so you may be able to deduce your username from that list. It just looks like a:

The ‘w’ command nice and handy, and has a bit more information about the user. It would look similar to this:

w command's output showing username
See? It’s pretty easy to see that there’s a user logged in – and more!

As you can see, there are a number of ways. I’m sure that I’m missing some. Feel free to chime in and add to the list. Basically, if you want to share it with the world, leave a comment. Otherwise, many readers know where to find me.

Closure:

And now you have another article. This one isn’t fancy, nor is it something you’re going to need all the time. However, it’s still a very basic and useful tool to add to your Linux toolbox. Things like these are the fundamentals. How to find your username in Linux is an absolute beginner move and a move that leads you forward to more knowledge.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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How To: Find Out Which Kernel Version You’re Using

The Linux kernel‘s progress is marked by versioning, and this article tells you how to find out which kernel version you’re using. There are all sorts of ways to do this, but this article is going to just cover a few of them.

You might want to know which kernel version you’re using for when you ask for support. It may be that your hardware is best (or only) supported after or before a certain kernel. It may be that you want to know which kernel you’re using because you want to upgrade or downgrade the kernel.

For example, I recently didn’t want to switch to the new kernel. I saw that there was a kernel update, learned which kernel version I was now using, and promptly decided to return to an older LTS kernel. Yes, different kernel versions will have different support lengths. I opted for a more stable and consistent kernel as none of my hardware required a newer kernel.

There are any number of reasons why you’d want to know which kernel version you’re using. And, as stated, there are any number of ways to get that information. This article only covers some of them.

Find Out Which Kernel Version You’re Using:

This article will only show you how to determine which kernel version you’re using with the terminal. Of course, this means you need an open terminal. You can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With your terminal open, you can try:

The information is also contained in the output of ‘hostnamectl’, so working with grep you’d have this command:

You can also use cat on/proc/version in a command that looks like:

If you have screenfetch or neofetch installed, the output contains the kernel version that you’re using. An output from those would look kinda like this:

neofetch in action
Neofetch in action, showing the kernel version number. See? It’s all over the place!

So, there are any number of ways to find which kernel version you’re using. There are surely other ways to find the kernel version, so feel free to leave a comment letting us know how you find your kernel version.

By the way, if you’re having problem with your current kernel, your distro probably has at least the previous kernel installed and you can use that as a fallback. Even if it automatically deletes old kernels, it usually leaves at least one older kernel as a way to recover should the proverbial poop hit the aerator.

Closure:

See? That wasn’t so painful! It’s another article that’s said and done. We’re getting closer to the halfway point, but I’m legitimately having fun getting my notes online. I admit, I pretty gleefully monitor the increasing (or sometimes consistent) traffic. It makes me happy to know my notes are helping.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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Get Hardware Info With ‘dmidecode’

Today’s article will explain how to use dmidecode to get information about your hardware. The command is a little different than most, as it actually checks your system’s BIOS and reports that information.

Yes, you read that correctly. This dmidecode command checks the BIOS and reports that information. There are times when the BIOS reports different hardware than other tools, so it’s a good idea to have some knowledge about your hardware to begin with.

Anyhow, I could sit here and try to explain dmidecode, or I could just use their description – which is better than I could do.

dmidecode is a tool 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.

As you can see, it’s a pretty interesting tool. It’s almost certainly installed for you by default. If it isn’t and you’re using a major distribution, check your system’s repos and it’ll be in there. It’s a pretty neat tool and one that you can use regularly, even though there are other tools that tell you about your hardware.

Using dmidecode:

This article requires an open terminal. Open one with your keyboard by pressing CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

Many distros have dmidecode installed by default. If not, you’ll need to install it with your systems software installer. It’s bound to be available for any major distro. Now…

There’s a whole lot to this dmidecode thing, so we’re going to rely on the man page quite a bit. You’re encouraged to crack open a second terminal in which to run man dmidecode. That’ll help!

The first way to run dmidecode is with the -s flag, where you’ll use a name. In your first terminal, type the following to get the BIOS vendor’s name:

That’s the first (and pretty handy) way to run this command. Some of these commands will even give you information that helps you not have to open the case. That one helps you find the BIOS vendor’s name without having to reboot and check the BIOS yourself.

There are quite a number of options (names) that follow the -s flag, such as baseboard-serial-number, processor-family, or even chassis-serial-number. There’s a ton of them – so switch to the terminal with the open man page and check the text next to the -s flag for more information.

The other way to run dmidecode is with the -t flag. In this usage, you’ll need to know the corresponding number to the information you want. That’s okay, you don’t need to memorize them, as I explain below. The basic command is:

The number should correspond to the information you want. In the terminal with the open man page, you can scroll down to see your options. You’ll see that #13 is about the BIOS language, so command would look like:

The output would look similar to this:

dmidecode showing bios language
There’s some cruft in the output, but it is indeed the BIOS language.

You can refer to the above-mentioned man page, memorize them, or use a cheat sheet (if you plan on running the command frequently). I assume the project keeps things updated, so checking the man page at their GitHub would be the most correct source.

Either way, you will see that you will need to know both ways of running dmidecode in order to make the most out of dmidecode. You’ll need to be both fluent with the keywords and with the DMI Types, should you want to make the most out of this application – but you don’t have to memorize the entire man page.

Closure:

There you have it, another article is in the books! This time, it’s about dmidecode – a valuable tool to add to your growing arsenal of tools. It’ll save some time if you end up needing it, so you might as well learn about it before you need it.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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