Monday, May 14, 2007

What is this thing, anyway?

The other day, a friend brought over an old computer that she didn't want. The windows 98 that was on it was not working properly (big surprise), and I didn't want to go through the pain to get it working since I was just going to install linux on it.

So I tried the new xubuntu, but it would just hang when I clicked install. This really confused me since the liveCD booted no problem. So I went and checked the xubuntu system requirements. It said you need 128mb RAM to boot the liveCD, but 196mb to install, and I had.... you guessed it.... 128mb!

But all was not lost! xubuntu offers an alternate cd for situations such as this. It offers an install using a text-based installer rather than the GUI (Graphical User Interface) on the regular cd. I installed and was up and running with no problem.

At this point, I became very curious about the hardware in the machine (mainly the processor speed.) On a windows machine, you could right click on "My Computer" and it would tell you information about the computer, but I didn't know the linux equivalent of that maneuver.

So, finally, on to the point of this post. I did some looking and found a great command to give you information about the hardware in a linux machine - lshw - just be sure to run it as root. For those of you scratching your head- Open a terminal and type:

sudo lshw

This will tell you more than you probably ever wanted to know about your hardware.

If this doesn't work for you, you probably don't have lshw installed. You can do this easily by searching for "lshw" in the package manager, checking the box next to it and clicking "Apply."

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