This is the eleventh in our series of articles highlighting essential system tools. These are small, indispensable utilities, useful for system administrators as well as regular users of Linux based systems. The series examines both graphical and text based open source utilities. For this article, we’ll look at Neofetch. For details of all tools in this series, please check the table at the bottom of the article.
Neofetch is a command-line interface system information script written in bash 3.2+. The script displays information about your system next to an image, your operating system logo, or any ASCII/image file of your choice. It’s designed to capture information about your system and display it in an aesthetic and visually pleasing way.
The main purpose of Neofetch is to convey to others the operating system or Linux distribution running on a system, together with critical information such as its hardware specifications, desktop environment, theme, icons, and a lot more besides.
Neofetch runs under all popular Linux distributions, and other operating systems. Popular distributions provide their own package, but installation is trivial in any event.
For example, in Ubuntu 17.04 and higher, type:
sudo apt update sudo apt install neofetch
Neofetch’s configuration file is stored at ~/.config/neofetch/config. Provided the software is installed correctly, Neofetch copies its default configuration file to that location. You can edit that file so the script displays what you want.
Let’s first see an example of Neofetch’s output without using its config file.
By default, the config file comments out some options including GPU Driver, disk information, battery information, and others. As I often use laptops, my config file enables battery and disk reporting. The image below reports that information in the final two lines.
Neofetch is highly customizable through the use of command line flags or the user config file. The config file runs to a whopping 728 lines, and there’s tons of configuration options to tinker with, so that the output information may be tailored exactly to your requirements.
For example, you can change (or remove) the image displayed next to the system information. Here’s Neofetch displaying a PNG image file next to the system information. Note, not all terminal emulators can display images.
Neofetch offers an easy way to display information about a system. It’s extremely customizable and runs on any operating that supports Bash. Besides Linux, you’ll find it running on Mac OS OS X, iOS, Solaris, BSD, GNU Hurd, Android, Windows 10, and more.
As you can write your own Bash functions, the script can do just about anything you want.
Other tools in this series:
|Essential System Tools|
|ps_mem||Accurate reporting of software's memory consumption|
|gtop||System monitoring dashboard|
|pet||Simple command-line snippet manager|
|Alacritty||Innovative, hardware-accelerated terminal emulator|
|inxi||Command-line system information tool that's a time-saver for everyone|
|BleachBit||System cleaning software. Quick and easy way to service your computer|
|catfish||Versatile file searching software|
|journalctl||Query and display messages from the journal|
|Nmap||Network security tool that builds a "map" of the network|
|ddrescue||Data recovery tool, retrieving data from failing drives as safely as possible|
|Neofetch||System information tool written in Bash|
|Timeshift||Similar to Windows' System Restore functionality, Time Machine Tool in Mac OS|
|GParted||Resize, copy, and move partitions without data|
|Clonezilla||Partition and disk cloning software|
|fdupes||Find or delete duplicate files|
|Krusader||Advanced, twin-panel (commander-style) file manager|
|nmon||Systems administrator, tuner, and benchmark tool|
|f3||Detect and fix counterfeit flash storage|
|QJournalctl||Graphical User Interface for systemd’s journalctl|
|QDirStat||Qt-based directory statistics|
|Firejail||Restrict the running environment of untrusted applications|
|VeraCrypt||Strong disk encryption software|
|Unison||Console and graphical file synchronization software|
|hyperfine||Command-line benchmarking tool|
|TLP||Must-have tool for anyone running Linux on a notebook|
|nnn||Portable terminal file manager that's amazingly frugal|
|Glances||Cross-platform system monitoring tool written in Python|
|CPU-X||System profiler with both a GUI and text-based|