A system profiler is a utility that presents information about the hardware attached to a computer. Having access to hard information about your hardware can be indispensable when you need to establish exactly what hardware is installed in your machine. For example, the information will help a technical support individual diagnose problems, or help to evaluate whether a system will support certain software or hardware.
This type of software lets individuals establish hardware details without opening the computer case. This may not be an option if you do not have direct access to the hardware, relying on the internet to connect to the machine. System profilers let you remotely interrogate a system.
In Windows circles, CPU-Z is a popular freeware tool that gathers information on the main devices of a system without having to conduct technical and manual searching. CPU-Z lays out the raw technical data out to read in easy-to-read tables and is well presented. For Linux, there are a number of good utilities that offer the same type of information, providing essential and extended hardware about the entire system.
We have chosen the finest console based utilities as well as tools with attractive graphical user interfaces in the style of CPU-Z. Each application featured in this article is released under an open source license. Here’s our recommendations.
Let’s explore the 11 system profilers at hand. For each title we have compiled its own portal page, a full description with an in-depth analysis of its features, a screenshot, together with links to relevant resources.
|inxi||Perl-based CLI system information tool|
|Neofetch||Extremely customizable and runs on any operating that supports Bash|
|CPU-X||Similar tool to CPU-Z but differs in a few important ways|
|HardInfo||System Profiler and Benchmark|
|I-Nex||Gambas based alternative to CPU-Z|
|dmidecode||Reports information according to the SMBDIOS/DMI standard|
|KInfoCenter||Centralized and convenient overview of your system|
|hwinfo||Provides a hardware probing library and a command line tool|
|lshw||Console and graphical tool extracting detailed information|
|i7z||Reporting tool for i7, i5, i3 CPUs|
|CPU-G||Python based alternative to CPU-Z|
Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk. There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.