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I would like output akin to that of OSX's system_profiler (

On Ubuntu, I have to string a few utilities togeter: uname -a, lshw, ifconfig, etc... and then extract the list of installed software packages...

Is there a single, simple facade to getting human readable system info from the CLI?

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I don't know about such command but here a two useful commands that you'll love to use:

You may use a tool called hwinfo Which gives u a great list of your hardware(hdd,usb, monitor ,netwrok ,etc...)

Also it can be used to generate a system overview log which can be later used for support.

To install hwinfo

sudo apt-get install hwinfo

To use just type hwinfo in terminal but its better to redirect to a file to read

hwinfo > MYhardware.txt

To know the packages you have in your system you can use dpkg --get-selections

to redirect

dpkg --get-selections > installed-software
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