Want to learn more about your system hardware?
Maybe you’re looking to find out your motherboard make and model, your CPU stepping, or which “nanometre” technology your chipset is built from.
If you were using Windows I’d tell you to use CPU-Z, an incredibly popular system profiling and monitoring app for Microsoft systems. It displays all sorts hardware info, including motherboard, processor, system memory, power, graphics card, and more.
Sadly there is no official CPU-Z Linux app but there is a fantastic open-source alternative called CPU-X. Available to use with a GUI or a CLI, CPU-X delivers the same deluge of hardware data that CPU-Z does, but in a free, open-source, and Linux-friendly package.
It’s simple enough:
Among the (many) things CPU-X reports:
- CPU model, codename, technology, voltage, speed
- CPI instruction set, clock speed, bus speed, cache
- Realtime CPU usage, cache speed
- Motherboard maker, model, revision, chipset, BIOS version
- Real-time memory graphs, including cache, free, swap
- Graphics card vendor, model, driver, clock
- Live GPU temperature, voltage, memory usage
- OS kernel, distro version, uptime
It also comes with built-in benchmarking tools. These are handy but aren’t explicitly useful. You don’t get given any sort of score that’s directly comparable to “common” benchmarking scores, thus it’s hard to tell if the stats reported or good, bad, or bang-average.
On the subject of hidden features, if you’re a fan of command-line apps you should definitely try CPU-X from the command line. It offers a beautifully rendered ncurses UI that’s just as informative as the GTK UI, and dead simple to navigate.
To access the CPU-X CLI (after you have installed the app) run
cpu-x --ncurses in any modern terminal emulator.
And that’s CPU-X in a nutshell: a fantastic free Linux alternative to CPU-Z for Windows. It surfaces up sizeable set of system info that should be enough to satisfy even the most stat-hungry users out there.
And the best bit?
It’s really easy to install CPU-X on Linux.
Your Linux distro should have it pre-packaged and ready to install. Search for ‘CPU-X’ in your system’s package manager or software store. Alternatively, drop to the command line and install it from there (it has the package name
cpu-x, which is easy to remember).
For example, to install CPU-X on Debian, Ubuntu, or an Ubuntu-based distro you’d run:
sudo apt install cpu-x
To install CPU-X on Fedora you’d run:
sudo dnf install cpu-x
And so on — if you’re installing stuff from the command line you’re probably aware of which package manager your system uses 😉
Got a system tool you prefer instead of this one? Let me know about it! I’m eager to explore new things!