Get hardware information on Linux with lshw command

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Lshw - List hardware

Lshw is a nifty small command line utility that generates detailed reports about various hardware components on the system. It does so by reading different files in the /proc directory.

Lshw is capable of reporting memory configuration, firmware version, mainboard configuration, CPU version and speed, cache configuration, bus speed etc.

Install lshw

Ubuntu, Debian and Fedora users can get it from default repositories. On CentOS lshw can be installed from Epel repo.

# ubuntu, debian
$ sudo apt-get install lshw

# fedora, centos (epel)
$ sudo yum install lshw

Using lshw

The lshw command needs to run with super privileges to be able to detect and report the maximum amount of information. So run as root, or use sudo.

Lshw assorts hardware components into groups called "class". Processor, memory, display, network, storage are all different classes.

1. Display full information

Running lshw without any options would generate full information report about all detected hardware. It would generate a big output with quite a lot of technical details

$ sudo lshw
enlightened               
    description: Desktop Computer
    product: ()
    width: 64 bits
    capabilities: smbios-2.4 dmi-2.4 vsyscall32
    configuration: boot=normal chassis=desktop uuid=949AC704-8C43-11DE-9395-000EA68F7260
  *-core
       description: Motherboard
       product: DG35EC
       vendor: Intel Corporation
       physical id: 0
       version: AAE29266-210
       serial: BTEC934000EK
       slot: Base Board Chassis Location
     *-cpu
          description: CPU
          product: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU    Q8400  @ 2.66GHz
          vendor: Intel Corp.
          physical id: 0
          bus info: cpu@0
          version: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU    Q8400  @ 2.66GHz
          slot: LGA 775
          size: 2664MHz
          capacity: 4GHz
          width: 64 bits
          clock: 333MHz
          capabilities: fpu fpu_exception wp vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx x86-64 constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good nopl aperfmperf pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm sse4_1 xsave lahf_lm dtherm tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority cpufreq

...TRIMMED

2. Display information in short

With the "-short" the lshw command would generate a brief information report about the hardware devices that would quickly give an idea about the hardware profile of the system.







$ sudo lshw -short
H/W path        Device      Class       Description
===================================================
                            system      ()
/0                          bus         DG35EC
/0/0                        processor   Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU    Q8400  @ 2.66GHz
/0/0/1                      memory      2MiB L2 cache
/0/0/3                      memory      32KiB L1 cache
/0/2                        memory      32KiB L1 cache
/0/4                        memory      64KiB BIOS
/0/14                       memory      8GiB System Memory
/0/14/0                     memory      2GiB DIMM DDR2 Synchronous 667 MHz (1.5 ns)
/0/14/1                     memory      2GiB DIMM DDR2 Synchronous 667 MHz (1.5 ns)
/0/14/2                     memory      2GiB DIMM DDR2 Synchronous 667 MHz (1.5 ns)
/0/14/3                     memory      2GiB DIMM DDR2 Synchronous 667 MHz (1.5 ns)
/0/100                      bridge      82G35 Express DRAM Controller
/0/100/2                    display     82G35 Express Integrated Graphics Controller
/0/100/2.1                  display     82G35 Express Integrated Graphics Controller
/0/100/19       eth0        network     82566DC Gigabit Network Connection
/0/100/1a                   bus         82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #4
/0/100/1a.1                 bus         82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #5
/0/100/1a.7                 bus         82801H (ICH8 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #2
/0/100/1b                   multimedia  82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller
/0/100/1c                   bridge      82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 1
/0/100/1c.1                 bridge      82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 2
/0/100/1c.2                 bridge      82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 3
/0/100/1c.2/0               storage     JMB368 IDE controller
/0/100/1d                   bus         82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #1
/0/100/1d.1                 bus         82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #2
/0/100/1d.2                 bus         82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #3
/0/100/1d.7                 bus         82801H (ICH8 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #1
/0/100/1e                   bridge      82801 PCI Bridge
/0/100/1e/5                 bus         FW322/323 [TrueFire] 1394a Controller
/0/100/1f                   bridge      82801HB/HR (ICH8/R) LPC Interface Controller
/0/100/1f.2                 storage     82801H (ICH8 Family) 4 port SATA Controller [IDE mode]
/0/100/1f.3                 bus         82801H (ICH8 Family) SMBus Controller
/0/100/1f.5                 storage     82801HR/HO/HH (ICH8R/DO/DH) 2 port SATA Controller [IDE m
/0/1            scsi3       storage     
/0/1/0.0.0      /dev/sda    disk        500GB ST3500418AS
/0/1/0.0.0/1    /dev/sda1   volume      70GiB Windows NTFS volume
/0/1/0.0.0/2    /dev/sda2   volume      395GiB Extended partition
/0/1/0.0.0/2/5  /dev/sda5   volume      97GiB HPFS/NTFS partition
/0/1/0.0.0/2/6  /dev/sda6   volume      97GiB Linux filesystem partition
/0/1/0.0.0/2/7  /dev/sda7   volume      1952MiB Linux swap / Solaris partition
/0/1/0.0.0/2/8  /dev/sda8   volume      198GiB Linux filesystem partition
/0/3            scsi4       storage     
/0/3/0.0.0      /dev/cdrom  disk        DVD RW DRU-190A

The above output is easy to interpret. The system has an intel processor, 4 RAM slots, 1 500gb hard drive with 6 partitions, 1 dvd writer, 1 network adapter, couple of usb ports etc.

The 3rd column is the class name. Lshw can display information only about a particular class if requested with the "-class" options.

3. Display only memory information

To display information about the memory, specify the memory class

$ sudo lshw -short -class memory
H/W path        Device      Class       Description
===================================================
/0/0/1                      memory      2MiB L2 cache
/0/0/3                      memory      32KiB L1 cache
/0/2                        memory      32KiB L1 cache
/0/4                        memory      64KiB BIOS
/0/14                       memory      8GiB System Memory
/0/14/0                     memory      2GiB DIMM DDR2 Synchronous 667 MHz (1.5 ns)
/0/14/1                     memory      2GiB DIMM DDR2 Synchronous 667 MHz (1.5 ns)
/0/14/2                     memory      2GiB DIMM DDR2 Synchronous 667 MHz (1.5 ns)
/0/14/3                     memory      2GiB DIMM DDR2 Synchronous 667 MHz (1.5 ns)

4. Display processor information

With class processor, lshw would display information about the cpu. It is better to not use the short option and get full details about the processor.

$ sudo lshw -class processor
  *-cpu                   
       description: CPU
       product: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU    Q8400  @ 2.66GHz
       vendor: Intel Corp.
       physical id: 0
       bus info: cpu@0
       version: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU    Q8400  @ 2.66GHz
       slot: LGA 775
       size: 2664MHz
       capacity: 4GHz
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 333MHz
       capabilities: fpu fpu_exception wp vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx x86-64 constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good nopl aperfmperf pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm sse4_1 xsave lahf_lm dtherm tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority cpufreq

It should be noted that lshw does not accurately tell about the number of cores or processing units available. The above system for example is a quadcore processor with 4 processing units. Another command called lscpu gives more accurate information about the cpu. Check out the following post

8 commands to check cpu information on Linux

5. Disk drives

Display the disk drives with the disk class.

$ sudo lshw -short -class disk
[sudo] password for enlightened: 
H/W path        Device      Class       Description
===================================================
/0/1/0.0.0      /dev/sda    disk        500GB ST3500418AS
/0/3/0.0.0      /dev/cdrom  disk        DVD RW DRU-190A

To display information about the partitions and controllers also, specify the storage and volume class along with the disk class. Then it would give a more clear picture about the storage on the system.

$ sudo lshw -short -class disk -class storage -class volume
H/W path        Device      Class       Description
===================================================
/0/100/1c.2/0               storage     JMB368 IDE controller
/0/100/1f.2                 storage     82801H (ICH8 Family) 4 port SATA Controller [IDE mode]
/0/100/1f.5                 storage     82801HR/HO/HH (ICH8R/DO/DH) 2 port SATA Controller [IDE m
/0/1            scsi3       storage     
/0/1/0.0.0      /dev/sda    disk        500GB ST3500418AS
/0/1/0.0.0/1    /dev/sda1   volume      70GiB Windows NTFS volume
/0/1/0.0.0/2    /dev/sda2   volume      395GiB Extended partition
/0/1/0.0.0/2/5  /dev/sda5   volume      97GiB HPFS/NTFS partition
/0/1/0.0.0/2/6  /dev/sda6   volume      97GiB Linux filesystem partition
/0/1/0.0.0/2/7  /dev/sda7   volume      1952MiB Linux swap / Solaris partition
/0/1/0.0.0/2/8  /dev/sda8   volume      198GiB Linux filesystem partition
/0/3            scsi4       storage     
/0/3/0.0.0      /dev/cdrom  disk        DVD RW DRU-190A

6. Network adapter information

Use the network class to display information about the network adapter/interface. Omitting the short option is a good idea to get detailed information about it.

$ sudo lshw -class network
  *-network               
       description: Ethernet interface
       product: 82566DC Gigabit Network Connection
       vendor: Intel Corporation
       physical id: 19
       bus info: pci@0000:00:19.0
       logical name: eth0
       version: 02
       serial: 00:1c:c0:f8:79:ee
       size: 100Mbit/s
       capacity: 1Gbit/s
       width: 32 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: pm msi bus_master cap_list ethernet physical tp 10bt 10bt-fd 100bt 100bt-fd 1000bt-fd autonegotiation
       configuration: autonegotiation=on broadcast=yes driver=e1000e driverversion=2.3.2-k duplex=full firmware=1.1-0 ip=192.168.1.2 latency=0 link=yes multicast=yes port=twisted pair speed=100Mbit/s
       resources: irq:43 memory:e0300000-e031ffff memory:e0324000-e0324fff ioport:20c0(size=32)

The value of the "serial" field is same as the MAC address. The configuration field indicates that autonegotiation is turned on and the current operating speed is 100Mbit/s. These configurations can be modified with the ethtool command.

7. Display address details with businfo

With the businfo option lshw would output the address details of pci, usb, scsi and ide devices

$ sudo lshw -businfo
Bus info          Device      Class       Description
=====================================================
                              system      ()
                              bus         DG35EC
cpu@0                         processor   Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU    Q8400  @ 2.66GHz
                              memory      2MiB L2 cache
                              memory      32KiB L1 cache
                              memory      32KiB L1 cache
                              memory      64KiB BIOS
                              memory      8GiB System Memory
                              memory      2GiB DIMM DDR2 Synchronous 667 MHz (1.5 ns)
                              memory      2GiB DIMM DDR2 Synchronous 667 MHz (1.5 ns)
                              memory      2GiB DIMM DDR2 Synchronous 667 MHz (1.5 ns)
                              memory      2GiB DIMM DDR2 Synchronous 667 MHz (1.5 ns)
pci@0000:00:00.0              bridge      82G35 Express DRAM Controller
pci@0000:00:02.0              display     82G35 Express Integrated Graphics Controller
pci@0000:00:02.1              display     82G35 Express Integrated Graphics Controller
pci@0000:00:19.0  eth0        network     82566DC Gigabit Network Connection
pci@0000:00:1a.0              bus         82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #4
pci@0000:00:1a.1              bus         82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #5
pci@0000:00:1a.7              bus         82801H (ICH8 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #2
pci@0000:00:1b.0              multimedia  82801H (ICH8 Family) HD Audio Controller
pci@0000:00:1c.0              bridge      82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 1
pci@0000:00:1c.1              bridge      82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 2
pci@0000:00:1c.2              bridge      82801H (ICH8 Family) PCI Express Port 3
pci@0000:03:00.0              storage     JMB368 IDE controller
pci@0000:00:1d.0              bus         82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #1
pci@0000:00:1d.1              bus         82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #2
pci@0000:00:1d.2              bus         82801H (ICH8 Family) USB UHCI Controller #3
pci@0000:00:1d.7              bus         82801H (ICH8 Family) USB2 EHCI Controller #1
pci@0000:00:1e.0              bridge      82801 PCI Bridge
pci@0000:04:05.0              bus         FW322/323 [TrueFire] 1394a Controller
pci@0000:00:1f.0              bridge      82801HB/HR (ICH8/R) LPC Interface Controller
pci@0000:00:1f.2              storage     82801H (ICH8 Family) 4 port SATA Controller [IDE mode]
pci@0000:00:1f.3              bus         82801H (ICH8 Family) SMBus Controller
pci@0000:00:1f.5              storage     82801HR/HO/HH (ICH8R/DO/DH) 2 port SATA Controller [IDE
                  scsi3       storage     
scsi@3:0.0.0      /dev/sda    disk        500GB ST3500418AS
scsi@3:0.0.0,1    /dev/sda1   volume      70GiB Windows NTFS volume
scsi@3:0.0.0,2    /dev/sda2   volume      395GiB Extended partition
                  /dev/sda5   volume      97GiB HPFS/NTFS partition
                  /dev/sda6   volume      97GiB Linux filesystem partition
                  /dev/sda7   volume      1952MiB Linux swap / Solaris partition
                  /dev/sda8   volume      198GiB Linux filesystem partition
                  scsi4       storage     
scsi@4:0.0.0      /dev/cdrom  disk        DVD RW DRU-190A

The output is similar to "short" option, with the first column replaced with Bus Info.

8. Generate report in html/xml format

Lshw is capable of producing reports in html, xml and json formats.

$ sudo lshw -html > hardware.html

For xml format

$ sudo lshw -xml > hardware.xml

Summary

The above examples covered nearly most of what lshw can do. Check out the man page for full documentation.

Lshw also comes with a gui frontend called lshw-gtk that reports the same information in a minimal graphical user interface. Here is a screenshot.

lshw gtk

There are many other gui tools for checking hardware information, like hardinfo that generate report in a more well organised manner and visually rich format.

Last Updated On : 7th April 2014

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About Silver Moon

Php developer, blogger and Linux enthusiast. He can be reached at m00n.silv3r@gmail.com. Or find him on

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