Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Excellent Linux Command: dmidecode

I can't believe I didn't know about this command. I mean, it's so simple, but it reveals SO much information.

As root, run "dmidecode" and pipe it to the pager of your choice, like this:

root@newcastle:/home/bandman# dmidecode | more
# dmidecode 2.9
SMBIOS 2.3 present.
72 structures occupying 2461 bytes.
Table at 0x000F0450.

If you scroll down just a little ways, you start getting better information:

BIOS Information
Vendor: Dell Inc.
Version: A09
Release Date: 06/22/2005
Address: 0xF0000
Runtime Size: 64 kB
ROM Size: 512 kB

There's more:

Base Board Information
Manufacturer: Dell Inc.
Product Name: 0M3918
Serial Number: ..CN7082154I04CU.

Handle 0x0300, DMI type 3, 13 bytes
Chassis Information
Manufacturer: Dell Inc.
Type: Mini Tower
Lock: Not Present
Version: Not Specified
Serial Number: CPJLT71
Asset Tag:
Boot-up State: Safe
Power Supply State: Safe
Thermal State: Safe
Security Status: None

You have to look at it yourself to believe all the information it provides. Never again will I wonder what the model number on one of my servers is:

[root@a-fs2 ~]# dmidecode --type 1
# dmidecode 2.7
SMBIOS 2.4 present.

Handle 0x0100, DMI type 1, 27 bytes.
System Information
Manufacturer: Dell Inc.
Product Name: PowerEdge 1955
Version: Not Specified
Serial Number: JJN2LF1
UUID: 44454C4C-4A00-104E-8032-CAC04F4C4631
Wake-up Type: Power Switch
SKU Number: Not Specified
Family: Not Specified

Read the manpage on it. I'm going to get right on a script to go pick up the information from remote servers and present it in a meaningful way. That should be an excellent way to provide information for the wiki


As Brandon mentioned in the comments, "hwinfo" is another neat command that doesn't get installed by default (at least on my Ubuntu/RedHat systems), but definitely seems worth the time to get.