How to Provide Information About Your System

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How to Provide Information About Your System

Post by toracat » 2010/11/02 15:13:20

When asking questions on a forum, mailing list, or IRC, it is important to provide correct and complete information about your system. Good general guidance can be found in the Readme First post in this forum, and in the classic guide "How To Ask Questions The Smart Way" by open source developer and philosopher Eric S. Raymond.

To aid in the process a script has been developed to collect system information for a variety of classes of questions.

You can fetch the file with wget, or open the link above, select the text and copy/paste the script to a file, for example "" with

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cat - >  # Note: Ctrl-D is EOF
or right-click and do "Save Link As ..." to save it to a local directory.

Change the permissions to make it executable and run it:

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chmod +x
Alternatively, enable the ELRepo repository and

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yum install getinfo
to install the script to /usr/local/bin/ with proper permissions.

The script will save information to a temporary file which can be posted in-line, or for longer files saved to a site such as The forum attachment function is permanently broken, so please do not try to "Attach file" to the post.

All options can be run as a normal user but fdisk information can only be provided if run as root. You should check the contents of the output file to ensure it does not contain any sensitive information such as public IP addresses or hostnames.

1. Basic info - appropriate for any and all CentOS questions. - basic

2. Disk/filesystem problem - Basic + full disk info - requires the user to become root to run as this really needs "fdisk -l". - disk

3. Hardware/driver/kernel problem - Basic + hardware and kernel info. - driver

4. Network problem - Basic + full network info. - network

5. Package problems with yum, rpm, and repos - Basic + rpm, yum, kernel. - package

6. The kitchen sink - combines all of the above. Run as either root or non-root, but won't get fdisk info unless root. - all (the default)

If necessary obfuscate sensitive information before posting. For example:

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Note that it is not necessary to hide network information for private subnets often assigned by DHCP servers using NAT in ranges:

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Other tools for gathering more detailed system information include dmidecode and sos, available in the CentOS core repos. Providing appropriate information will help you get a prompt and accurate answer, and will help other forum members to efficiently answer your questions.

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