Sunday, 20 March 2016

How to get BIOS information in Ubuntu

If you want to get all the BIOS information in Ubuntu, there is a handy terminal command you can use.

dmidecode - According to the manual, dmidecode is a tool for dumping a computer's DMI (some say SMBIOS) table contents in a human-readable format. Information such as serial numbers and BIOS revision. Thanks to this table, you can retrieve this information without having to probe for the actual hardware. While this is a good point in terms of report speed and safeness, this also makes the presented information possibly unreliable.

You need to first install dmidecode in your Ubuntu system to get the BIOS information. Use the following command:

sudo apt-get install dmidecode - It will ask for your root password.

ambarish@ambarish-ubuntu:/dev$ sudo apt-get install dmidecode
[sudo] password for ambarish: 
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
dmidecode is already the newest version.
dmidecode set to manually installed.
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.

Once done successfully, use the following command to get the BIOS release date:

ambarish@ambarish-ubuntu:/dev$ sudo dmidecode --string bios-release-date

Also, to get the other BIOS releated information, use the command sudo biosdecode. It will display the structure of your BIOS along with several other informations like Router ID, OEM identifier, No of structures and max structure size.

ambarish@ambarish-ubuntu:/dev$ sudo biosdecode
# biosdecode 2.12
ACPI 2.0 present.
OEM Identifier: VBOX  
RSD Table 32-bit Address: 0x7FFF0000
XSD Table 64-bit Address: 0x000000007FFF0030
BIOS32 Service Directory present.
Revision: 0
Calling Interface Address: 0x000FDA00
PCI Interrupt Routing 1.0 present.
Router ID: 00:01.0
Exclusive IRQs: None
Compatible Router: 8086:7000
Slot Entry 1: ID 00:01, on-board
Slot Entry 2: ID 00:02, slot number 1
Slot Entry 30: ID 00:1e, slot number 29 SMBIOS 2.5 present.
Structure Table Length: 450 bytes
Structure Table Address: 0x000E1000
Number Of Structures: 10
Maximum Structure Size: 255 bytes

I hope that helps. 

Thursday, 17 March 2016

How to find Kernel version, release info and disk partition info in Ubuntu

Here, we will see how to find Kernel version, Ubuntu release information and disk partition information in Ubuntu. 

uname -a  : print certain system information. Here's the output.

terminal output

Linux ambarish-ubuntu 4.2.0-34-generic #39~14.04.1-Ubuntu SMP Fri Mar 11 11:38:02 UTC 2016 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux


       Print certain system information. With no OPTION, same as -s.

       -a, --all
              print all information, in the following order, except omit -p and -i if unknown:

       -s, --kernel-name
              print the kernel name

       -n, --nodename
              print the network node hostname

       -r, --kernel-release
              print the kernel release

       -v, --kernel-version
              print the kernel version

       -m, --machine
              print the machine hardware name

       -p, --processor
              print the processor type or "unknown"

       -i, --hardware-platform
              print the hardware platform or "unknown"

       -o, --operating-system
              print the operating system

lsb_release : to print distribution-specific information.

terminal output


       The lsb_release command provides certain LSB (Linux Standard Base) and distribution-specific information.

       If no options are given, the -v option is assumed.

       -v, --version
              Show the version of the LSB against which your current installation is compliant. The  version is expressed as a colon separated list of LSB module descriptions.

       -i, --id
              Display the distributor's ID.

       -d, --description
              Display a description of the currently installed distribution.

       -r, --release
              Display the release number of the currently installed distribution.
       -c, --codename
              Display the code name of the currently installed distribution.

       -a, --all
              Display all of the above information.

       -s, --short
              Use the short output format for any information displayed. This format omits the leading header(s).

       -h, --help
              Show summary of options.
       -c, --codename
              Display the code name of the currently installed distribution.

       -a, --all
              Display all of the above information.

       -s, --short
              Use the short output format for any information displayed. This format omits the leading header(s).

       -h, --help
              Show summary of options.

       -e, --exclude list
              Exclude the devices specified by a comma-separated list of major device numbers. Note that RAM disks (major=1) are excluded by default.

       -f, --fs
              Output info about filesystems.  

       -h, --help
              Print a help text and exit.

       -i, --ascii
              Use ASCII characters for tree formatting.

       -m, --perms
              Output  info  about   device   owner,   group   and   mode.

       -l, --list
              Use the list output format.

       -n, --noheadings
              Do not print a header line.

       -o, --output list
              Specify which output columns to print.  Use --help to get a list of all supported columns.

       -P, --pairs
              Use key="value" output format.

       -r, --raw
              Use the raw output format.

lsblk -o NAME,SIZE : to display disk partition in a human readable format.

terminal output

In case, you want to print all the information Kernel version, release info and disk partition info with a single command, use the below command:

sudo fdisk -l; uname -a; lsb_release -a  

terminal output

If you want to add something, please mention that in comments. 

Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Kernel Update for Ubuntu 14.04 released

Ubuntu Trusty Tahr 14.04

A major kernel update has been released from Canonical for Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr where about 13 vulnerabilities that has been discovered by developers and hackers have been patched. Canonical has asked the Ubuntu users running Trusty Tahr LTS to update their system immediately. 

Updating your kernel package to linux-image-3.13.0-83 (3.13.0-83.127), linux-image-3.16.0-67 (3.16.0-67.87~14.04.1), linux-image-3.19.0-56 (3.19.0-56.62~14.04.1), or linux-image-4.2.0-34 (4.2.0-34.39~14.04.1) will ensure these patches. 

You can update your kernel by following these steps. 

Open Unity Dash > Software updater and run the application. It will check for the updates that are available for your system.

Software updater

Once done, it will notify you the updates available and will ask you for update along with the size of files needed to be download. I have started the update to be installed and as you can see below, linux-image- is being downloaded and installed in my Ubuntu 14.04 which contains this Kernel patch.

Software updater

You can also update Kernel from the pre packaged kernel available via ppa:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kernel-ppa/ppa

You are doing that on your own risk though.

ambarish@ambarish-ubuntu:~$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kernel-ppa/ppa
[sudo] password for ambarish: 
 Ubuntu Kernel Team Daily Build PPA - this PPA typically contains experimental packages. The quality of these packages is such that you had better know what you're doing. Don't come crying to the kernel team if it kills all of your kittens.
 More info:
Press [ENTER] to continue or ctrl-c to cancel adding it

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

and you are done.

Some of the third party modules may need to be built again, after the kernel update. Have you updated your Kernel? 

Sunday, 13 March 2016

How to create Desktop Wallpaper slideshows in Ubuntu

If you have a series of photographs/images which you want to use as your Desktop Wallpaper as a slideshow in Ubuntu, you will need to have Shotwell - an application that is installed by default in Ubuntu.

Login in to your Ubuntu system and search for Shotwell in Ubuntu.

ubuntu wallpapers

Navigate to File > Import from a folder, and select the images you want to set as desktop background in slideshow.

Once you have imported, select the pictures from the collection.

Now navigate to File > Set as Desktop Slideshow. It will ask for the time duration for which you want to set one particular image. Select according to your preference and you are done.

ubuntu wallpapers

Variety - for creating desktop wallpaper slideshows in Ubuntu/Linux

There is another open source application for changing wallpaper in Linux named Variety. It is packed with great features and is easy to use. The advantage of Variety over the Shotwell is that not only you can create wallpaper slideshows from your local images, but also from online sources and allows you to rotate them on a regular intervals and provides easy ways to separate nice images from the junk. It also can display a nice digital clock.

How to install Variety on Ubuntu

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:peterlevi/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install variety variety-slideshow

Variety not only runs for Ubuntu, but also supports most Ubuntu variants like Xubuntu, Lubuntu, Linux Mint and also on some other Linux distributions like Arch, Fedora and Debian.