The operating system, hostname, and kernel

In this guide, we will get acquainted with the commands used to get information about system parameters, including information about software and hardware. The uname command line tool will help us to cope with this task.

Obtaining information about the hardware and software of your Linux system is one of the important steps in administration. In this article, we will delve into the commands used to find system settings using the uname command line tool. In addition, we will use the lshw command to get more detailed information about the hardware.

Because the commands are native to Linux, they should work on any terminal of a distribution that uses the Linux kernel. Please note that all of the commands listed below must be entered in the Linux terminal.

Finding information about software and hardware

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First, let’s find out the details of the software used, such as the Linux kernel, distribution, and others. The command used to find system information is uname . The syntax looks like this:

uname [option]


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We will break down all the parameters of the uname command with sample output from our test VPS based on CentOS 7. The uname –help command in the terminal provides all the details of how this command can be used:


The operating system, hostname, and kernel are Linux

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The -o or –operating-system option displays the operating system in use:

uname -o


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The -n or –nodename option displays the hostname:

uname -n


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To find the Linux kernel release, use the -r or –kernel-release option :

uname -r


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The -v or –kernel-version option displays the kernel version:

uname -v


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If you need all of the above information in one command, use the -a or –all option as follows:

uname -a


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Finally, to find out the version of the uname utility, use the –version command :

uname --version


Team lshw

The List Hardware (lshw) command is another popular command used by system administrators to get very detailed information about a machine’s hardware. This is done by reading various files in the /proc directory on the Linux machine.

The lshw utility needs root access to get information. It can report RAM configuration, firmware version, motherboard configuration, processor information, cache configuration, bus speed, etc. This command is present by default on most Linux distributions. If the commands below do not work, then the utility is not in your distribution. To install it, go to the official GitHub page.

Command syntax:

lshw [-format] [-options…]

The output format can be any of the following:

html - output of hardware configuration in HTML format;

xml - output of the hardware configuration in XML format;

json - hardware configuration output as a JSON object;

short - displays only basic information;

businfo - displays information about the bus.
The parameters can be any of the following:

-class CLASS - shows only a certain class of equipment;

-C CLASS same as '-class CLASS';

-c CLASS same as '-class CLASS';

-disable TEST - disable the test (for example, pci, isapnp, cpuid, etc.);

-enable TEST - enable test (for example, pci, isapnp, cpuid, etc.);

-quiet - do not display status;

-sanitize - remove sensitive information such as serial numbers, etc.;

-numeric - numeric identifiers (for PCI, USB, etc.);

-notime - exclude mutable attributes (time stamps) from the output.

Since the command must be run as root, use sudo before the command:

sudo lshw -short


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