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So I'm entering the business of buying and selling laptops. For me, it's convenient to boot up a laptop in Ubuntu to see some of the hardware still works. The screen, hard drive, wifi, bluetooth, yadda yadda.

I think this may come across as a software/library shopping question, but I will fire it off anyways.

So, I want to go collect hardware information on a per laptop basis and store it somewhere. I can use this to debug or figure out hardware issues after something is already sold. It would also be useful to see which hardware is particularly common or buggy and avoid those. Or provide proper support for them.

I have been using Linux for a while, so I know of lshw -html and inxi. Is that all I need, or are there any supplementary programs? It would be useful to know the BIOS versions of various laptops too, if I can query that sort of thing. Does lshw report correctly on computers that have poorly supported hardware?


I should add that I would like additional information that may be available, like how many hours the screen has seen, SMART info on hard drives, or anything else that may be logged. This will vary greatly from laptop to laptop, but some laptops do keep track of useful information. The firmware in Thinkpad batteries keep track of how many hours they've been used, recharged, current capacity, and other jazz like that.

It would be very useful for me to have a huge datadump of information like this.

For extra stuff, it would be nice to have performance tests on the USB ports, hard drives, graphics card, testing battery life, etc. I don't mind whipping up the tests myself, but if there was a starting point out there, that'd be fairly useful to build on top of. No need reinventing the wheel, afterall.

Edit 2:

In addition to lshw and inxi, it seems like there are other useful tools, like hwinfo and hardinfo. hardinfo doesn't have a command-line only mode, but it can also be used to generate reports. These are good enough to suffice for now. Thanks.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

This seems to have been discussed before but your needs are a little bit different, I think.

However, take a look at this answer, which contents is placed here for your convenience:

You may wish to give a try to HardInfo or Phoronics which doesn't indeed do as many things as Sandra does, but it shouldn't as we are talking about Linux Systems.

Take a look at:

Hardinfo at

From the site: System Profiler and Benchmark HardInfo can gather information about your system's hardware and operating system, perform benchmarks, and generate printable reports either in HTML or in plain text formats.

I prefer to use Hardinfo, here is my screenshot of a benchmark in action in my system:

enter image description here

Phoronics at

From the site: The Phoronix Test Suite is the most comprehensive testing and benchmarking platform available that provides an extensible framework for which new tests can be easily added. The software is designed to effectively carry out both qualitative and quantitative benchmarks in a clean, reproducible, and easy-to-use manner.

Additional answers to the original question maybe useful for you.

Good luck!

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Cool, that's helpful for some additional programs, like hwinfo. hardinfo hangs on my machine, is that just while it's gathering metrics and information? – Ehtesh Choudhury Feb 26 '13 at 1:25

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