"System Info" utility very limited in Mint 19. No "Hardware Manager"?

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"System Info" utility very limited in Mint 19. No "Hardware Manager"?

Post by jopower »

I installed Mint 19 ( Cinnamon 3.8.9) about 4 months ago and am generally happy. However, the "Preferences > System Info" utility is very limited. It shows only 7 lines of fairly basic results. I've attached a screenshot to verify the util I'm talking about. I've checked all start menu items and don't immediately find a better one. Also, I am not finding a detailed "Hardware Manager" to inform me of details and status of the nuts and bolts in place or just connected and allow me to disable/enable a particular item. As I'm still new concerning the familiarity of Linux reporting of system details, it's a problem when details are asked for or referenced by a forum thread and no easy answers are at hand. :?

If I had my way, all sys info and hardware details would be displayed as highly detailed results ala Piriform's "Speccy" (for Windoze), which I've used for years. I would also accept a basic (as is now used) vs highly detailed (as per Speccy) results toggle, to make all levels of users happy. Is there a better built-in utility already on my Linux distro that is somehow buried? Can someone recommend one that's not obtuse to install? (I'm still trying to understand Linux command line usage). Thank you! 8)
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Screenshot of Sys Info at 2019-04-13.png
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Re: "System Info" utility very limited in Mint 19. No "Hardware Manager"?

Post by PhilippeH »

If you click "upload system information", it will open in your browser a page containing all available details

Otherwise, launch a terminal and type inxi -F for the same output. The inxi command allows filtering results, such as inxi -m for memory. To find out about all filters, type man inxi

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Re: "System Info" utility very limited in Mint 19. No "Hardware Manager"?

Post by jopower »

Thank you! This helps considerably... and I've just tried both ways. I like that the terminal window doesn't save as HTML, but it must be pasted to the text editor. Hmmm, perhaps a new terminal window option to "save all selected as text file" under the "File" menu would be a good solution? Although it would be cleaner to toggle the "System Info" util result from basic vs detailed. Hope the Mint coders will consider both of these ideas. :wink:

Still, appreciate the work around, PhillippeH! 8)
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Re: "System Info" utility very limited in Mint 19. No "Hardware Manager"?

Post by Moem »

Try installing 'Hardinfo' from the Software Manager, and see how you like it. It's not a hardware manager, but it gives pretty detailed information.
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If your issue is solved, kindly indicate that by editing the first post in the topic, and adding [SOLVED] to the title. Thanks!

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Re: "System Info" utility very limited in Mint 19. No "Hardware Manager"?

Post by philotux »

You might want to look into lshw command line as it also will give detailed info about your hardware:

Code: Select all

man lshw

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Re: "System Info" utility very limited in Mint 19. No "Hardware Manager"?

Post by DAMIEN1307 »

As Moem has suggested, hardinfo is even more extensive than speccy...it is actually called, "System profiler and benchmark" when you go to find it in the menu after installing it...why it has 2 names, i dont know but im providing the code below so you can copy and paste it into your terminal for a quick and easy install...DAMIEN


Install "System Profiler and Benchmark"

Code: Select all

sudo apt install hardinfo
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Re: "System Info" utility very limited in Mint 19. No "Hardware Manager"?

Post by h2-1 »

If you want to see all the inxi data, do, as root or sudo: sudo inxi -v8

If you want it saved to a text file, do: sudo inxi -v8 > /path/to/your/file.txt

When coming from windows, it's useful to not look for exact duplicates, but rather to see if there are standard ways of doing what you want in GNU/Linux already, which of course, given Linux heritage as a server OS, there always are. Then learn a few basics, like how to output console data to a text file, and you're pretty much done.

Keep running LInux, and one day you'll open windows and find it weird, clunky, and counter-intuitive, and an overall pain in general, except for the software it has available.

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Re: "System Info" utility very limited in Mint 19. No "Hardware Manager"?

Post by GS3 »

h2-1 wrote:
Thu May 02, 2019 7:21 pm
If you want to see all the inxi data, do, as root or sudo: sudo inxi -v8

If you want it saved to a text file, do: sudo inxi -v8 > /path/to/your/file.txt

When coming from windows, it's useful to not look for exact duplicates, but rather to see if there are standard ways of doing what you want in GNU/Linux already, which of course, given Linux heritage as a server OS, there always are. Then learn a few basics, like how to output console data to a text file, and you're pretty much done.

Keep running LInux, and one day you'll open windows and find it weird, clunky, and counter-intuitive, and an overall pain in general, except for the software it has available.
On the other hand, Windows Device Manager is extremely useful and convenient. It tells you what devices you have, you can enable and disable them, you can update drivers, It tells you what resources they use, and a lot more. And I do not need to learn a single line command which, frankly, is a PITA. I do not want to have to memorize commands I will be using very seldomly.
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Re: "System Info" utility very limited in Mint 19. No "Hardware Manager"?

Post by Larry78723 »

GS3, you can do what I do and keep a text file on my desktop with seldom-used terminal commands. At 70, my memory isn't what it used to be. :D
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Re: "System Info" utility very limited in Mint 19. No "Hardware Manager"?

Post by GS3 »

Ha, ha, that is exactly what I do. I have a huge text file with all sorts of commands and annotations about switches, syntax, etc. Sometimes I cannot remember the command at all and have to spend time looking for something to jog my memory.

A GUI with switches, options, menus, etc. is so much more convenient!
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Re: "System Info" utility very limited in Mint 19. No "Hardware Manager"?

Post by Hoser Rob »

I don't think there's a real Linux equivalent, actually I don't think there are really a lot of 100% equivalents in general.

+1 to hardinfo though.

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Re: "System Info" utility very limited in Mint 19. No "Hardware Manager"?

Post by karlchen »

Hi, folks.

I agree with GS3 in so far that it would be really useful and convenient to have a graphical equivalent to Windows Device Manager on Linux as well.
Yet, so far there is only a read-only application, hardinfo (or System Profiler and Benchmarks as it is labelled in the application menu).
So whoever wants to inspect their system hardware in a graphical application, this is your best choice. It can generate savable reports as well.

When it comes to creating and posting concise reports on your systems here in the forum e.g., there is nothing which beats the commandline tool inxi.
I know it offers more commandline options than anybody will very likely ever be able to remember. Except for its developer maybe. :wink:
Yet, in real (forum) life the majority of cases, where inxi reports are requested, will be covered by 3 commandlines:
  • Repository list: inxi -Sr
  • Linux Mint release and desktop environment: inxi -Sxxx
  • Concise system overview on devices and drivers: inxi -Fxzd
In case anybody requests something else they will very likely give you the full inxi commandline, which they ask you to execute.

So even most inxi use cases will not put much stress on your memory. - In case they do, make yourself aware that training your memory in itself is a good thing. :wink: And as with other commandline tools, there is "inxi --help" and "man inxi" to retrieve what can be done and how.

Cheers,
Karl
Last edited by karlchen on Tue May 07, 2019 2:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: corrected second inxi commandline to read "inxi -Sxxx", because h2-1, the inxi developer, flags my original commandline as syntactically incorrect. Cf. below: https://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=90&t=292102&p=1631125#p1630749
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Re: "System Info" utility very limited in Mint 19. No "Hardware Manager"?

Post by smurphos »

Coming soon (19.2) to System Reports.....

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Re: "System Info" utility very limited in Mint 19. No "Hardware Manager"?

Post by oldgranola »

Nice!
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Re: "System Info" utility very limited in Mint 19. No "Hardware Manager"?

Post by oldgranola »

GS3 wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 8:06 am
Ha, ha, that is exactly what I do. I have a huge text file with all sorts of commands and annotations about switches, syntax, etc. Sometimes I cannot remember the command at all and have to spend time looking for something to jog my memory.

A GUI with switches, options, menus, etc. is so much more convenient!
I've also taken to keeping a text file of the outputs (inxi, dmesg (| grep -iE '(ata|ahci) etc),hwinfo,lshw,lsblk, blkid etc) in a "this system" directory.

I agree that an ms-windows like hardware manager would be nice that doesn't just report but can manage too. However, I can see why that would be difficult to implement. too many OS flavours, desktops and options to code into a single gui app. Windows also has a different architecture now with a single binary 'registry' for most settings. Very different
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Re: "System Info" utility very limited in Mint 19. No "Hardware Manager"?

Post by h2-1 »

I know it offers more commandline options than anybody will very likely ever be able to remember. Except for its developer maybe.
Sad to say, the developer also can't remember all of them either ;), though I do know that -v8 triggers basically all the sysinfo options. Most of the options were in response to user issues, some very specific, others more obvious. Running inxi in ansible or chef and it believes it's in an IRC cilent? why, --tty is your friend!! The bright side is that in Perl inxi, the options now have long form names, which makes the feature less obscure than it was with the more advanced options of -! or -@ in legacy inxi.

I think one of the biggest hurdles to transitioning to Linux from windows is the desire to want everything to be the same. As a former windows sys admin, I don't miss the device manager at all, it rarely worked as expected, you needed to download missing drivers from somewhere unknown, and it basically was just a very gui click endlessly interface. I also don't miss the morass of the hive, the binary blob that windows decided to use as it's basic init system, and which on failure would generally leave you with the option to reinstall the OS, or on new mobo, or on major hardware changes.

Basically, if you look at gnu/linux from who uses it, that tends to reflect quite clearly in its tools, the overwhelming majority of linux installs globally is in servers, so the needs and biases of server admins dominates its landscape. Second most used, but only the kernel itself, is android, which is what it is, not really a full linux. Last is regular desktop users, and sometimes that shows in what linux is weak in, at least weak in terms of matching things windows users are used to having.

To me, the transition to linux from windows involves a period of "windows does it this way, why can't linux do it this way!!" which if you think about it is an odd reaction, I had it too however, way back when, because if you really liked windows, and there is a lot to like about it on the consumer space at least, then why leave it? And on the other hand, if you left it because of problems or annoyances, why do you then want linux to be the same, except better in some mysterious way? I left windows because I saw the handwriting on the wall, windows xp showed what was coming, and I didn't want any part of it, a viewpoint I believe was totally confirmed by windows 10 today. i still want no part of it. Do I miss things from windows? Yes, I do, but mostly only on the consumer software application level, not in the actual desktop stack itself.

I can tell you that my reaction whenever I have to deal with the allegedly user friendly 'intuitive' os x from apple is to want to hurl the machines against the wall with as much force as humanly possible as I smash against the walls of the walled garden the apple users are so fond of being nestled in. As a former windows sys admin, this is an emotion I had many a time working on windows systems late at night, the urge to pick up a server case and hurl it as violently against the wall as humanly possible due to some impossible to diagnose windows issue was one I had to suppress massively many a time, but users tend to forget these moments of horror and reflect more on the good times, that's when you aren't hitting a bluescreen, when a mobo died and you have to fully reinstall the entire system and reconfigure it all manually to get it the way the user had it, whereas in linux you just put the new mobo in, adjust the networking settting and maybe graphics drivers and then away you go.

Then, as I got more and more involved in debian, and apt in particularly, when I was working on windows systems, I always literally would look for the apt install command to add some needed software, then realized that I had to once again go out and find it from some dodgy and unverifiable site.

Ah, good times. However, not to worry, systemd is returning some of the random failures and difficult to diagnose boot failures of windows days to us, and the new snappack and other windows like packages returns the randomly assembled, full library of dependencies in each program, aka, dll hell in windows terms, to us, so those who miss those parts of windows should feel right at home.

All joking aside, for consumer desktop use, the marketshare just has never been there for commercial linux consumer software, and that's always been a weakness of linux, but that's something 'they' need to take care of, but in free software, they is us, which is why I made inxi, to have a tool that reports everything I want to see as an admin, and that other people want to see, and that's all you can do in the world of free software, scratch itches, and see if anyone else shares your concerns.

I think a major weakness in how free software is perceived came about because of the attempt to corporatize the free software term into 'open source' software, which is just a word that makes corporations happier than the horrifying 'freedom' in free software, but by downplaying the fact that free software's primary purpose is to be free, not to be a drop in replacement for program x or y in the commercial non free space, the focus is removed from what actually matters. If you change the focus, suddenly you are in the real world, where if you run apple or windows, you recognize that the operating system is not free, you can't alter it, you can't learn it's codebase, you can't modify it and then create say, Mint, out of a collection of free software, there is just windows or osx or whatever. So then it becomes the real question, do I want to run free software, or do I want the corporate proprietary stuff? It's a valid choice, both have their pluses and minuses, and none give you everything that the other offers, so as Linus torvalds says, all operating systems suck, linux just sucks a bit less. Unless you liked the way the others sucked, of course, which is valid, then linux would suck more for your use case, at which point, it would not be a good option.

Last I checked, osx and windows are not free software, though they contain bits of it to lesser or greater degrees. Chrome has to remain free because it started life as KHTML from KDE's Konqueror, and the gpl has forced the corporate world to retain the freedom that the original small codebase had.

Here's to free as in freedom software!!

keep in mind, the software we use is written by people, sometimes it's generated by corporations paying people to write it, but it's all written by someone somewhere, maybe a long suffering GNU coder, maybe me, maybe the people who work on your mint, and I can assure you, when it comes to compensation, if you get a tiny fraction of what you'd get coding commercially non free software, you're lucky. This is why the GPL states that there is no, not even implicit, guarantee that the software will work as you want, though you are totally free to make it do so, which is the essential element of all free software.

To make this clear, I found a pressing need for something like inxi, so I forked a small program, and then starting making inxi. If I had not decided to do that, there would be no inxi. Nobody has decided to take on the horrifying task of trying to maintain and code a gui software manager that is a clone of the windows tool. Why is that? Probably because most people who have the ability to do that left windows because they didn't like it, so they don't have a motivation to then try to duplicate it, particularly not in gui form. It's easy to forget that corporations like apple, google, and microsoft employ literally tens of thousands of programmers, who get paid hundreds of millions, if not billions, in salary every year, and those programmers do what they are told to do, some will be assigned to maintain the device manager, which is probably a really bad job, others to write subsystems, whatever, they are all getting paid, none have a choice, beyond quitting and finding other work, of doing or not doing what they are assigned to do.

This leads to a significant problem in free software desktops, given that most advanced users, aka, programmers, generally don't want or need the full gui suite of software that comprises desktop stacks, who exactly will be paying for the development of tools that developers themselves find boring and unrewarding to create? This is not a minor issue. If the world had organized some 15, 20 years ago, and decided, hey, we will fund, for the greater good, all key software components of the desktop stack to get around this issue, we'd be way, way ahead of where we are, but instead, everyone decided to take what they want for free, and only tack on small parts when they feel like it, or for companies, when it meets some bottom line thing in most cases.

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Re: "System Info" utility very limited in Mint 19. No "Hardware Manager"?

Post by AZgl1500 »

karlchen wrote:
Sat May 04, 2019 8:54 am


When it comes to creating and posting concise reports on your systems here in the forum e.g., there is nothing which beats the commandline tool inxi.
I know it offers more commandline options than anybody will very likely ever be able to remember. Except for its developer maybe. :wink:
Yet, in real (forum) life the majority of cases, where inxi reports are requested, will be covered by 3 commandlines:
  • Repository list: inxi -Sr
  • Linux Mint release and desktop environment: inxi -Sx3
  • Concise system overview on devices and drivers: inxi -Fxzd
In case anybody requests something else they will very likely give you the full inxi commandline, which they ask you to execute.
unfortunately, as useful as the above commands are, they are ONLY available in certain releases of Linux.

e.g., for 18.3 Cinnamon, this don't work.

Code: Select all

$ inxi -Sx3
/usr/bin/inxi: illegal option -- 3
Error 7: One of the options you entered in your script parameters: -Sx3
is not supported.The option may require extra arguments to work.
For supported options (and their arguments), check the help menu: inxi -h
Linux Mint 19.3 Cinnamon

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Re: "System Info" utility very limited in Mint 19. No "Hardware Manager"?

Post by h2-1 »

unfortunately, as useful as the above commands are, they are ONLY available in certain releases of Linux.
Latest inxi is available always on all flavors of linux, except maybe the slackware based puppy, which uses a stripped down perl.

inxi -Sx3 is not a valid option in any inxi, ever. So that would not be relevant, I think you are thinking of either -xxx or --extra 3

And check out while we're at it latest in 3.0.34, --admin / -a triggered kernel boot parameter item added to -S System section.

Code: Select all

inxi --no-host -Saxxxy80
System:
  Kernel: 4.17.0-17.3-liquorix-amd64 x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 7.3.0 
  parameters: audit=0 BOOT_IMAGE=/boot/vmlinuz-4.17.0-17.3-liquorix-amd64 
  root=UUID=4f6b4acd-fa5c-400e-8b48-364b1f44dd17 ro quiet nomodeset 
  nouveau.modeset=0 
  Desktop: Xfce 4.12.4 tk: Gtk 2.24.31 info: xfce4-panel wm: xfwm4 
  dm: LightDM 1.18.3 Distro: Debian GNU/Linux buster/sid
Graphics:
  Device-1: NVIDIA GT218 [GeForce 210] vendor: Gigabyte driver: nvidia 
  v: 340.107 bus ID: 09:00.0 chip ID: 10de:0a65 
  Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.20.0 driver: nvidia 
  resolution: 1280x1024~60Hz, 1280x1024~60Hz 
  OpenGL: renderer: N/A v: N/A direct render: N/A 
Added by distro support person request

It's important not to confuse gnu/linux, the operating system and software stack, with inxi, which is by design built to run on ANYTHING that supports Perl, which is basically almost everything in the world of nix operating systems. Any linux, from any era, as long as it supports Perl 5.008 or newer, which was chosen specifically to cover all linux installs back to around 2005 or so.

New inxi by design has no dependency issues with anything, it just needs something that resembles a linux or a bsd to work. It needs some standard system programs to get more advanced data for some feature, but that doesn't stop it from running if those are missing. I even package it for tinycore linux, runs fine.

If you teach yourselves a small amount, or, even better, if mint would relent and just package the current inxi for all its versions, then you'd all be running latest inxi. Or you can manually update inxi by disabling the /etc/inxi.conf value B_ALLOW_UPDATE= or setting it to true, then doing, on 2.3.56 or newer, inxi -U, if older inxi, or if you see unable to download new inxi, just replace the inxi file manually like so: sudo wget -O $(which inxi) smxi.org/inxi which will just overwrite your old inxi with the current live version, then you can go from there.

This really is not difficult to do, takes a minute at the most. All you are doing, literally, is replacing one file, older, with another file, newer. This won't bite you, it won't make your system explode, apt doesn't care, although it will dutifully replace the new one with the apt one if there is a pool upgrade in the future, but since you enabled B_ALLOW_UPDATE you can just -U to current again. Or just run inxi without the package, it makes no difference to its performance.

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Re: "System Info" utility very limited in Mint 19. No "Hardware Manager"?

Post by karlchen »

Hello, h2-1.

Oops, my fault. I had had the impression that inxi -Sxxx could be shortened to "inxi -Sx3". Seemed to generate the same output.
Anyway. You are the inxi developer and will know whether "-Sx3" is a valid option or not.

Therefore I will correct the inxi commandline in my post above to read inxi -Sxxx This should work on outdated inxi versions like 2.3.56 e.g., which seem to be in use on quite a few Mint systems still, and on recent inxi versions like e.g. 3.0.33.

Best regards,
Karl
--

Code: Select all

karl@paulchen ~ $ inxi -V
inxi 3.0.33-00 (2019-03-29)

karl@paulchen ~ $ inxi -Sxxx
System:    Host: paulchen Kernel: 4.4.0-146-generic i686 bits: 32 compiler: gcc v: 5.4.0 Desktop: Xfce 4.12.3 tk: Gtk 2.24.28 
           info: xfce4-panel wm: xfwm4 dm: LightDM 1.18.3 Distro: Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia base: Ubuntu 16.04 xenial

karl@paulchen ~ $ inxi -Sx3
System:    Host: paulchen Kernel: 4.4.0-146-generic i686 bits: 32 compiler: gcc v: 5.4.0 Desktop: Xfce 4.12.3 tk: Gtk 2.24.28 
           info: xfce4-panel wm: xfwm4 dm: LightDM 1.18.3 Distro: Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia base: Ubuntu 16.04 xenial 
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Re: "System Info" utility very limited in Mint 19. No "Hardware Manager"?

Post by karlchen »

Hello, h2-1.
h2-1 wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 2:27 pm
inxi -Sx3 is not a valid option in any inxi, ever. So that would not be relevant, I think you are thinking of either -xxx or --extra 3
As said in my previous post, I am sure you know better than anybody else which commandline options inxi accepts.
Yet, in the case of -Sx3 as a short form of -Sxxx or -S --extra 3, I am a bit in doubt whether it really cannot work.
I have seen in this thread that -Sx3 throws an error message on 2 system, including yours.
Yet, as can be seen in my post above, it works for me using inxi 3.0.33.
So I assumed that I had been only lucky and it had worked - unintended - till inxi V3.0.33 and stopped doing so in V3.0.34.
Yet, how does this match the below output from Xubuntu 18.04.2 32-bit (but reproduced on Mint 18.3 32-bit xfce as well)?

Code: Select all

karl@paulchen:~$ inxi -V
inxi 3.0.34-00 (2019-04-30)

Program Location: /usr/bin/
Website: https://github.com/smxi/inxi or https://smxi.org/
IRC: irc.oftc.net channel: #smxi
Forums: https://techpatterns.com/forums/forum-33.html
 
inxi - the universal, portable, system information tool for console and irc.
Using Perl version: 5.026001
 
This program started life as a fork of Infobash 3.02: Copyright (C) 2005-2007 Michiel de Boer aka locsmif.
Subsequent changes and modifications (after Infobash 3.02): Copyright (C) 2008-2019 Harald Hope aka h2. 
CPU/Konversation fixes: Scott Rogers aka trash80. USB audio fixes: Steven Barrett aka damentz. 

This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as 
published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. 
(https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html) 
karl@paulchen:~$ inxi -S
System:    Host: paulchen Kernel: 4.15.0-48-generic i686 bits: 32 Desktop: Xfce 4.12.3 
           Distro: Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS (Bionic Beaver) 
karl@paulchen:~$ inxi -Sxxx
System:    Host: paulchen Kernel: 4.15.0-48-generic i686 bits: 32 compiler: gcc v: 7.3.0 Desktop: Xfce 4.12.3 tk: Gtk 2.24.31 
           info: xfce4-panel wm: xfwm4 dm: LightDM 1.26.0 Distro: Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS (Bionic Beaver) 
karl@paulchen:~$ inxi -Sx3
System:    Host: paulchen Kernel: 4.15.0-48-generic i686 bits: 32 compiler: gcc v: 7.3.0 Desktop: Xfce 4.12.3 tk: Gtk 2.24.31 
           info: xfce4-panel wm: xfwm4 dm: LightDM 1.26.0 Distro: Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS (Bionic Beaver) 
karl@paulchen:~$ inxi -S --extra 3
System:    Host: paulchen Kernel: 4.15.0-48-generic i686 bits: 32 compiler: gcc v: 7.3.0 Desktop: Xfce 4.12.3 tk: Gtk 2.24.31 
           info: xfce4-panel wm: xfwm4 dm: LightDM 1.26.0 Distro: Ubuntu 18.04.2 LTS (Bionic Beaver) 
karl@paulchen:~$ 
inxi 3.0.34 still accepts all 3 forms, -Sxxx, -Sx3, -S --extra 3, and produces the same output here. :?

Best regards,
Karl
Image
Linux Mint 19.2 64-bit Cinnamon, Total Commander 9.22a 64-bit
Haß gleicht einer Krankheit, dem Miserere, wo man vorne herausgibt, was eigentlich hinten wegsollte. (Goethe)

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