The ability to compare performance between more than one machine is usually achieved through benchmark performance tests. One such handy tool when running Ubuntu or Linux machines is the nifty HardInfo, written by Leandro A. G. Pereira.

It is able to gather information about your system’s hardware and operating system, perform CPU benchmarks, and generate printable reports either in HTML or in plain text formats.

Simple in design, and very easy to use, HardInfo is well worth the install if you want a quick gut feel of which machine is running quicker, as well as need a slightly more detailed look at your Ubuntu PCs’ insides.

To install, launch the Ubuntu Software Center and do a search for either “benchmark” or “hardinfo”. Puzzling enough, the application appears under the name “System Profiler and Benchmark”, but once you have selected it, you will see that the description starts off with the word “Hardinfo” and the developer website links to “”, marking it as being correct.

Install as per normal.

You can access via System Tools -> System Profiler and Benchmark, or from the terminal by entering “hardinfo”.

Until a network update is completed (Information -> Network Updater…) only the results of local tests can be viewed under the ‘Benchmarks’ section. Completing a network update will download additional benchmarks for comparison and against the local machine. Benchmark results will then appear ranked from best performing to lowest performing against other systems.

HardInfo comes with the following benchmark tests: CPU Blowfish, CPU CryptoHash, CPU Fibonacci, CPU N-Queens, FPU FFT, and FPU Raytracing.

And now you know. Nifty.

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