The other day I was looking for info on one thing, and--as so often happens online--ended up stumbling across something totally different, but very interesting. It's a command called dmidecode
. If I ever knew about it, I guess I had forgotten, because it didn't even sound familiar.
Here's the first bit of its man
dmidecode - DMI table decoder
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.
The DMI table doesn't only describe what the system is currently
made of, it also can report the possible evolutions (such as the
fastest supported CPU or the maximal amount of memory supported).
SMBIOS stands for System Management BIOS, while DMI stands for
Desktop Management Interface. Both standards are tightly related and
developed by the DMTF (Desktop Management Task Force).
As you run it, dmidecode will try to locate the DMI table. If it
succeeds, it will then parse this table and display a list of
records like this one:
Handle 0x0002, DMI type 2, 8 bytes. Base Board Information
Product Name: C440GX+
Serial Number: INCY92700942
Note that it has to be run as root.
It produces an AMAZING array of information about the computer it's run on.