ubuntu-10-logoOne way of finding out more information about your Ubuntu Server’s hardware or current setup is to consult the /proc location and browse through the various system-maintained files there. For example, “cat /proc/cpuinfo” will return you information on your CPU while “cat /proc/meminfo” will give you a bit of info surrounding your server’s memory state.

(Just in case you aren’t familiar with it, the /proc File System is a pseudo file system residing in the virtual memory and maintains highly dynamic data on the state of your operating system. Most of the information in the /proc file system is updated to match the current state of the operating system.)

Another method for gleaning this sort of information would be to consult the server’s DMI or SMBIOS tables.

(Again, if you are not familiar with the terms, SMBIOS stands for System Management BIOS, while DMI stands for Desktop Management Interface. Both standards are tightly related and developed by the DMTF, or Desktop Management Task Force.)

This can be achieved through the use of the dmidecode function, basically a tool for dumping a computer’s DMI or 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, which does make this good in terms of report speed and safeness, though at the same time make the data returned somewhat unreliable.

Nevertheless, it’s worked for me on more than one occasion, so I’m pretty happy to use it.

To find out what CPU you are currently running, from a terminal enter:

sudo dmidecode --type processor

To find out what RAM you are currently running, from a terminal enter:

sudo dmidecode --type memory

Definitely worth remembering then.

Related Link: http://manpages.ubuntu.com/manpages/hardy/man8/dmidecode.8.html