How to Gather Server Hardware Information

When you lease a remote dedicated server, you really have no physical way of knowing that you got what you paid for. There are, however, a couple of ways to find out what hardware your server actually has using some basic Linux commands. These commands tell you what hardware is in use and give you important information about how they are being used.

1. /proc – This is an entire directory in Linux filled with hardware information. You can access most of the information using the “cat” command. For example, to see cpu information, run:

cat /proc/cpuinfo

Output will look like

processor : 3
vendor_id : GenuineIntel
cpu family : 6
model : 15
model name : Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU 5150 @ 2.66GHz
stepping : 6
cpu MHz : 2660.033
cache size : 4096 KB

Be sure to check the CPU name and the speed to make sure it is what you expected. If you were promised a Xeon and instead have a Celeron, you should be concerned.

To view memory information, run:

cat /proc/meminfo

2. System logs – You can learn a lot about hardware from the logs. If your server is experiencing problems, you cannot ignore the possibility of hardware malfunctions. Kernel messages will tell you if hardware is acting up. Run this command:


3. lspci – Peripheral cards should not be an issue on a new server, but if, for some reason, you need to know the type of network card you have or other information, lspci will tell you. From the command line, just run:


4. lshw – For all general hardware information in one convenient report, use lshw. This will tell you far more information than you will probably ever want to know, but some of it may be useful.

As with any Linux commands, if you get a lot of output, especially from lshw, you can save the information to a text file using the “>” character.

lshw > hardware-info

To make additions to the same file with each subsequent command, use “>>”.

lspci >> hardware-info