Tutorial on Figuring Out Your Server: the Configuration

This tutorial has examples for four versions of UNIX: Linux, Oracle’s Solaris, Apple’s Macintosh OS X and IBM’s AIX
What Is My Server’s Configuration?
Now that you know the server’s name, know which operating system it is running, know the address and, perhaps, have a basic idea of where in the world the server is located, you are probably interested to know how the server is configured.

The uname command is a very good starting point. The uname -a command was mentioned earlier in this tutorial. The -a tells uname to print all the information it gathers.

Other variations of the uname command will give you each of the pieces of data that uname -a does, just individually. Depending on the operating system, these variations are known as options, switches or arguments. The options most commonly used across different versions of UNIX are:
•Operating system name, i.e., SunOS, LINUX (uname -s).
•Nodename (uname –n).
•OS release level (uname -r).
•OS version, also known as the patch level or the kernel ID (uname -v).
•Machine hardware class (uname -m). You may want to look up the output from this command in the uname man page:
        man uname
•Processor type or ISA (uname -p).
•Name of hardware implementation (uname –i, not supported on all version of UNIX).

penguin [1]> uname -s

penguin [2]> uname -r

penguin [3]> uname -v
#1 SMP Fri Feb 20 00:20:22 EDT 2004

penguin [4]> uname -m

penguin [5]> uname -p

penguin [6]> uname -i

penguin [7]> uname -a
Linux penguin 2.4.21-32.0.1.ELhugemem #1 SMP Fri Feb 20 00:20:22 EDT 2004 i686

Much of the information displayed by uname -a is also in the file /proc/version.

penguin [8]> cat /proc/version
Linux version 2.4.21-32.0.1.ELhugemem (bhcompile@bugs.build.redhat.com) (gcc version 3.2.3 20030502 (Red Hat Linux 3.2.3-52)) #1 SMP Fri Feb 20 00:20:22 EDT 2004

paloalto [1]> uname -s
paloalto [2]> uname -r
paloalto [3]> uname -v
paloalto [4]> uname -m
paloalto [5]> uname -p
paloalto [6]> uname -i
paloalto [7]> uname -a
SunOS paloalto 5.8 Generic_108528-19 sun4u sparc SUNW,Ultra-60

Solaris uses the output of uname –i to organize certain hardware-specific utilities. The output of uname –i indicates the type of hardware you are using. An example of this is prtdiag, which on the server in this example is in this directory:
/usr/platform/ SUNW,Ultra-60/sbin

You can use `uname -i` in your commands rather than look up and then type this directory’s name. If you will use prtdiag, you probably want to put this in your path:
/usr/platform/`uname –i`/sbin

cupertino [1]> uname -s
cupertino [2]> uname -r
cupertino [3]> uname -v
Darwin Kernel Version 8.5.0: Fri Feb 20 00:20:22 PST 2004; root:xnu-792.6.61.obj~1/RELEASE_PPC
cupertino [4]> uname -m
Power Macintosh
cupertino [5]> uname -p
cupertino [6]> uname -i
uname: illegal option -- i
usage: uname [-amnprsv]
cupertino [7]> uname -a
Darwin cupertino.tamas.com 8.5.0 Darwin Kernel Version 8.5.0: Fri Feb 20 00:20:46 PST 2004; root:xnu-792.6.61.obj~1/RELEASE_PPC Power Macintosh powerpc

endicott [1]> uname -s
endicott [2]> uname -r
endicott [3]> uname -v
endicott [4]> uname -m
endicott [5]> uname -p
endicott [6]> uname -i
uname: Not a recognized flag: i
Usage: uname [-snlrvmaxupfFMS:T:L]
endicott [7]> uname -a
AIX endicott 2 5 0009BF80D600

The uname man page will give you a key to the output from
uname –m

Suggestions for Future Learning
More on your path later in this tutorial in the section on environmental variables. For information on modifying environmental variables including your path see UNIX For Application Support Staff Chapter 2.

Tutorial Contents

​What is my Server's Operating System and Name ?

Name Service queries with DNS and NIS

What Is My Server’s Configuration ?

Hardware Information : CPU and Memory

Environmental Variables : Your Configuration

Disk Usage  and Listing Directory Contents

Who Else  is Logged in?