The command dmidecode is ” 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.” (from the “man”).

You need to be the Super User to run this command, for security reasons. And, so much crap comes out all at once that you need to pipe it through the “more” command to read it. So, if you are using a Debian distribution (like Ubuntu) or otherwise have “sudo” installed, try this:

sudo dmidecode | more

“sudo” effectively means “super user do” (though how and why it means that is obsucre and highly controversial) … and will cause a system that has that utility installed to ask for your password. The “|” thingie “pipes” the output of dmidecode to the command “more” which, in turn, fills one screen of your terminal at a time . Just hit the space bar to … read more.

This command will be useful if you need to know how much memory you have, what kind of processor you have, etc.


  1. #1 gruebait
    November 13, 2009

    huh. That’s a new one for me. Lotta detail. I have always used lshw for hardware info; one nice thing that can do is output its report in html (I like keeping a machine’s particulars documented at //localhost/).

    Alternatives are always a Good Thing.

  2. #2 Deen
    November 13, 2009

    Also useful: lspci and lsusb. And I use ‘less’ instead of ‘more’ – less allows you to scroll by line as well, and scroll back up, and even search.

  3. #3 jj
    November 13, 2009

    RE:Sudo Command
    According to Gizmodo, Microsoft is trying to patent the sudo command:

    (OK, that’s what the article implies, but it actually is not what MS is doing, it’s actually UAC)

  4. #4 Nemo
    November 13, 2009

    I second the recommendation of “less” over “more”. There’s a “most”, too, which seems pretty snazzy, but I’m used to “less”.

  5. #5 llewelly
    November 15, 2009

    well I have learned something from this post. I had no idea there were non-minimalist unices around which still provided more.