Linux command to gathers up information about a Linux system

last updated in Categories CentOS, Debian Linux, Gentoo Linux, Howto, Linux, Networking, RedHat/Fedora Linux, Sys admin, Tips, Ubuntu Linux

If you are developing an application for Linux desktop and would like to automatically find out more information about system, use the following commands in shell scripts to gather information about system. Recently I was involved in project where I need to collect information about running GUI, browser and other information such as disk space, running kernel etc.

Find out KDE Desktop version:

konqueror --version

Find out Gnome Desktop version:

gnome-panel --version

Find out Mozilla browser version:

mozilla --version

Find out Firefox browser version:

firefox --version

Find out current Language:

set | egrep '^(LANG|LC_)'

Find out disk space usage:

df -h

Find/Estimate file space usage:

du -h

Find out version of Linux glibc:

ls -l /lib/libc-*.so /lib/*

Find out user limits:

ulimit -a

Find out installed device drivers (modules)


Find out information about an X server:


It can find out:

  • Name of display:
  • Version number
  • Vendor name (such as The XFree86 Project)
  • Vendor release number
  • And XFree86 version number

Find out information about Linux CPU

cat /proc/cpuinfo

Find out information about Linux Memory

cat /proc/meminfo


free -m


free -g

Find out user shell name:

ps -p $$ | tail -1 | awk '{ print $4 }'

Dump Linux kernel variables

/sbin/sysctl -a

Find out running Linux kernel version:

uname -mrs
uname -a
cat /proc/version

Dump or display memory information and swap information:

free -m

Network card and IP address information:

ifconfig -a
ifconfig -a|less

Debian / Ubuntu Linux network configuration file (all interface eth0,eth1,…ethN)

more /etc/network/interfaces

Redhat / CentOS / Fedora Linux network configuration file (eth0)

more  /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts/ifcfg-eth0

Note replace eth1 for 2nd network card and so on.

Display routing information

route -n

Display list of all open ports

netstat -tulpn

View login related logs

tail -f /var/log/secure
vi /var/log/secure
grep 'something' /var/log/secure

View mail server related logs

tail -f /var/log/maillog
vi /var/log/maillog
grep 'something' /var/log/maillog

Find how long the system has been running


Show who is logged on and what they are doing


Display list of tasks


Display all running process

ps aux
ps aux | grep process-name

Display list of all installed software on Redhat / CentOS / Fedora

rpm -qa
rpm -qa | grep 'software-name'
rpm -qa | less

Display list of all installed software on Debian / Ubuntu

dpkg --list

Once information collected it can be easily send as an email to help desk. You can use all above command to gathers information about a remote Linux system over secure ssh session (see related functions that gathers up information about a Linux and FreeBSD system). Best part is all above commands runs in non privileged mode.

Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

44 comment

  1. Hi,

    May I know the command to find out the Linux version. Is this the same command ‘uname -a’ which prints the kernel version? Both are same?


  2. nice information… but how can i run the cat /proc/cpuinfo as a user log in only? sudo or su in the first was not still recognize it. 🙂

  3. Hi , is there a command to list the installed TAPE Drive device under CENTOS/REDHAT ?

    example names: /dev/st0 or /dev/rt0

    Thanks much.

  4. There’s mistake on one of the entries. To monitor how long a system has been up; use these commands:

    “uptime” or “top” or “w”

    The word uptime; mentally, is usually the easiest to remember which is funny considering it’s a bigger word than the rest, hehe.

  5. what is the command that displays system diagnostic information?
    In solaris its prtdiag.

  6. how to find the no of Unix/Linux servers present in your network / enevironment.

    your help is appreciated.

  7. What is the LINUX command to find out the version of the softwares installed on a particular LINUX m/c??

  8. The “Find how long the system has been running” section is wrong.
    It says that the commands are : “uname” and “w”, but it should list the commands:
    “uptime” and “top”

  9. Very Information information on this website.

    I think google should first find this site in its search engine and than rest of others.

    I have always found too many of my needs or commands for day to day task from this site.

    keep up…

  10. dmidecode will give you hardware info on the system. All of it, including make and model of the pc, chassis, N/SB. Like this:
    Handle 0x0002, DMI type 2, 8 bytes. Base Board Information
    Manufacturer: Intel
    Product Name: C440GX+
    Version: 727281-001
    Serial Number: INCY92700942
    Read man dmidecode for more.

  11. Hey i’m gonna devolop an operating system.At this time i already gathered minimal info but i cn’t understnd after completing kernel,then what to to for other program applications….so plz help me.plz help me how to arrenge all programs upon kernel…..plzzzzz…….

  12. Hi,
    Thanks for useful information


    Find how long the system has been running


    uname just show Unix/Linux name….

  13. Does anyone know of a Linux command to obtain the server model number/name?

    I am not speaking of the dmidecode info as that all points to the actual internal hardware components…..I need the model number/name of the actual server all hardware components are installed into…not sure if Linux can provide this information or not??

    Any assistance is appreciated.

  14. command to configure newly attached hardware ?&
    how to find hardware configuration ?

    Thanks for the above information..

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