Linux display system hardware status information gathered from /proc filesystem in easy format

by on April 20, 2006 · 4 comments· LAST UPDATED January 11, 2007

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/proc directory stores lots of system status and hardware information. The proc (mounted at /proc) filesystem is a pseudo-filesystem which is used as an interface to kernel data structures. For example, your CPU related information such as number of CPUs, type of CPU (AMD or Intel) etc can be gathered from /proc/cpuinfo.

However, the output is not always easily readable (especially if you are Linux sys admin). You need to use a command called procinfo which gathers some system data from the /proc directory and prints it nicely formatted on the screen.

It is capable of displaying following Linux status information:

  1. Memory
  2. Bootup (the time the system was booted)
  3. Load average
  4. User (the amount of time spent running jobs in user space)
  5. Nice (the amount of time spent running niced jobs in user space)
  6. System (the amount of time spent running in kernel space)
  7. Idle (the amount of time spent doing nothing)
  8. Uptime (the time that the system has been up).
  9. Page in (the number of disk block paged into core from disk)
  10. Page out (the reverse of the above (What does that mean, anyways?) )
  11. Swap in (the number of memory pages paged in from swapspace)
  12. Swap out (the number of memory pages paged out to swapspace)
  13. context (the total number of context switches since bootup)
  14. disk 1-4 (the number of times your hard disks have been accessed)
  15. Interrupts
  16. Modules (the modules (loadable device drivers) installed on your machine) Character and Block Devices
  17. File Systems

Examples
$ procinfo
Output:

Linux 2.6.5-7.252-bigsmp (geeko@buildhost) (gcc 3.3.3 ) #1 SMP Tue Feb 14 11:11:04 UTC 2006 4CPU [ora10g-host1.xxxx.in]
Memory:      Total        Used        Free      Shared     Buffers
Mem:       4091932     2327480     1764452           0      209444
Swap:      4194784           4     4194780
Bootup: Fri Mar 10 15:26:44 2006    Load average: 2.00 2.00 2.00 3/108 20202
user  :      17:25:52.25   4.5%  page in :        0
nice  :   3d  7:22:29.54  20.5%  page out:        0
system:       0:17:45.90   0.0%  swap in :        0
idle  :  12d  0:33:54.22  74.7%  swap out:        0
uptime:  40d  5:46:29.70         context :621430542
irq  0:3477339909 timer                 irq 10:         0 ohci_hcd
irq  1:      3237 i8042                 irq 12:      9578 i8042
irq  2:         0 cascade [4]           irq 14:   6678197 ide0
irq  4:         4                       irq 15:  25978305 ide1
irq  8:         2 rtc                   irq 16:  44294194 eth0
irq  9:         0 acpi

You can find out detailed information with -a flag:

$ procinfo -a

Output:

Linux 2.6.5-7.252-default (geeko@buildhost) (gcc 3.3.3 ) #1 2CPU [suse9ent.nixcraft.com]
Memory:      Total        Used        Free      Shared     Buffers
Mem:       4125168     4112656       12512           0      276512
Swap:      4200688          32     4200656
Bootup: Mon Apr 10 13:46:48 2006    Load average: 0.76 0.70 0.32 1/105 6641
user  :       0:59:24.49   2.2%  page in :        0
nice  :       0:11:08.41   0.4%  page out:        0
system:       0:06:51.10   0.2%  swap in :        0
idle  :  18d 15:46:46.95 1020.6%  swap out:        0
uptime:   9d  8:37:33.35         context : 84375734
irq  0:         0 0                     irq 54:    396314 ioc0
irq 28:      1800 cpe_poll              irq 55:        30 ioc1
irq 29:         0 cmc_poll              irq 56:   1842085 eth1
irq 31:         0 cmc_hndlr             irq 57:        18
irq 48:         0 acpi                  irq232:         0 mca_rdzv
irq 49:         0 ohci_hcd              irq238:         0 perfmon
irq 50:      1892 ohci_hcd              irq239:1656130975 timer
irq 51:         0 ehci_hcd              irq240:         0 mca_wkup
irq 52:   5939450 ide0                  irq254:    792697 IPI
irq 53:    404118 eth0
Kernel Command Line:
BOOT_IMAGE=scsi0:\efi\SuSE\vmlinuz root=/dev/sda3 selinux=0 splash=silent elevator=cfq ro
Modules:
147  snd_pcm_oss    240 *snd_pcm         38 *snd_page_alloc  74 *snd_timer
57 *snd_mixer_oss  149 *snd             33 *soundcore       44  thermal
48 *processor       23  fan             28  button          78  usbserial
73  parport_pc      38  lp             104 *parport        700 *ipv6
113  hid             36  joydev          97  sg              98  st
51  sr_mod          93  ide_cd          90 *cdrom           84  ehci_hcd
63  ohci_hcd        35  evdev          244  tg3             63 *af_packet
40 *binfmt_misc    246 *usbcore        122  e100            32 *subfs
19 *nls_utf8        24 *nls_cp437      139  dm_mod         266 *ext3
165 *jbd             30  mptsas          30  mptfc           29 *scsi_transport
29 *mptspi          98 *mptscsih       131 *mptbase         52 *sd_mod
237 *scsi_mod
Character Devices:                      Block Devices:
1 mem              10 misc              1 ramdisk          71 sd
2 pty              13 input             3 ide0            128 sd
3 ttyp             14 sound             7 loop            129 sd
4 /dev/vc/0        21 sg                8 sd              130 sd
4 tty              29 fb                9 md              131 sd
4 ttyS            116 alsa             11 sr              132 sd
5 /dev/tty        128 ptm              65 sd              133 sd
5 /dev/console    136 pts              66 sd              134 sd
5 /dev/ptmx       180 usb              67 sd              135 sd
6 lp              188 ttyUSB           68 sd              253 device-mapper
7 vcs             254 snsc             69 sd              254 mdp
9 st                                   70 sd
File Systems:
ext3                [sysfs]             [rootfs]            [bdev]
[proc]              [cpuset]            [sockfs]            [pfmfs]
[futexfs]           [tmpfs]             [pipefs]            [eventpollfs]
[devpts]            ext2                [ramfs]             [hugetlbfs]
minix               msdos               vfat                iso9660
[nfs]               [nfs4]              [mqueue]            [rpc_pipefs]
[subfs]             [usbfs]             [usbdevfs]          [binfmt_misc]

Other options

  • -f : Run procinfo continuously full-screen (update status on screen, the default is 5 seconds, use -n SEC to setup pause)
  • -Ffile : Redirect output to file (usually a tty). For example procinfo -biDn1 -F/dev/tty5

See also:

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 peace March 2, 2008 at 11:50 am

hi when i do /proc/cpuinfo
i get erro message like
permisiom deny /proc/cpuinfo
i have log as root
and it’s on Centos
thanks for help
bye

Reply

2 Dan November 20, 2008 at 6:42 pm

@peace:

You have to use less “/proc/cpuinfo” or “cat /proc/cpuinfo”. /proc/cpuinfo is just a virtual file, not a program.

Reply

3 aerdna September 16, 2010 at 2:14 am

hello
i’m new to linux and i have a very limited knowledge about its commands and its interface.
i just want to ask how can i check the system information of the pc that im using. e.g. hard disk total and used space, memory size, and the like.

hope you could help me.
thanks a lot.:)

Reply

4 Bena234 July 31, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Hello aerdna,
just type “df -hT” (without quotation marks) to get information about your hard disk total and used space. And type “free -m” to get your free space.

Reply

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