Obtain some basic hardware details of your Ubuntu system

Unix systems are capable of recognizing lots of details of your hardware, so instead of having to open your PC for obtaining information like serial numbers, just use some shell commands.
Here is a list of such useful commands.

General system

grep -r . /sys/class/dmi/id/ 2>/dev/null
lspci -vvnn
udevadm info --export-db
sudo lshw


sudo vpddecode    # Serials from BIOS, Motherboard
sudo biosdecode   # More details about BIOS
sudo dmidecode -q # Show information about valid BIOS components
sudo dmidecode    # Show also unknown/invalid BIOS components


cat /proc/cpuinfo


cat /proc/asound/card*/codec#*



Upgrade to Picasa 3.8 on Ubuntu

If you're still stick to old 3.0 version of Picasa on your Ubuntu system (because you prefer it over Ubuntu's own programs, as I do), here are some instructions about how to upgrade Picasa to newer versions which have for example Face Recognition.

Install instructions

These instructions have been tested on Ubuntu Natty, and for Picasa 3.8, in case there's a newer version released you'll have to change it's location (search below for HERE).
## Add Google's testing repository for Picasa
sudo echo "deb http://dl.google.com/linux/deb/ testing non-free #Google Picasa" > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/google-unstable.list
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com --recv-keys 7FAC5991
sudo apt-get update
## Install Picasa 3.0
sudo apt-get install picasa

## Download Picasa 3.8 installer
# If there's a newer version you might to have to change it's name and location HERE
cd /tmp && wget http://dl.google.com/picasa/picasa38-setup.exe

## Install it (will not override your current Linux Picasa 3.0)
# Use default settings
wine /tmp/picasa38-setup.exe

## Copy over Picasa 3.8 files to your Linux Picasa 3.0 installation with backup
sudo cp -r /opt/google/picasa/3.0/wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Google/Picasa3{,_3.0}
sudo cp -r ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Google/Picasa3/* /opt/google/picasa/3.0/wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Google/Picasa3/

## Uninstall the previous installed Picasa 3.8 (it's not needed any longer)
wine ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Google/Picasa3/Uninstall.exe
Now you can run Picasa as usual from Applications --> Graphics --> Picasa --> Picasa
In case that something went wrong, you can find a backup of Picasa 3.0 in /opt/google/picasa/3.0/wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Google/Picasa3_3.0

Reading Skype logs

If you use Skype a lot, for example at work, it will accumulate hundreds of chat database files .dbb on your system.
Information in these history files is partially compressed, so searching something particular in these files is only possible from Skype itself and its searching engine isn't very useful.

Better you use the Skype Logs Reader/Viewer, which is able to read these files and permits to search for text, export all text into several text or HTML formats, so you can use more powerful tools like your web browser, grep, word processor, spreadsheet, etc. to look for the information you remember vaguely you interchanged months or years ago.

Install instructions

This program doesn't need any installation, just unzip the archive anywhere you want.
It is designed for Windows, but runs fine with wine on your Ubuntu system.

Usage on Linux

As mentioned before, you need wine to run this program on Linux.
  • Just execute it with wine SkypeLogView.exe
  • In the dialog for locating Skype's database files, you'll have to enter
  • If you're not sure about which unit is mapped to your home folder you could obtain it from with winepath -w ~/.Skype